Monthly Archives: January 2008

Is Cosby Telling It Like It Is?

fat_albert.jpg

After going through a series of comments I was making with some fellow black bloggers with whom I respect the opinions of I thought about the content of the discussion and decided to post my feelings on the matter. The post which we were all typing away on was called “Yuk it up Mr Cosby” centered on the controversy of Cosby and Whitlock and the fact that they disparage the black community in what can be conceived as faint attempts to help our community out.

When I thought about the things they say and how they are interpreted by non black people I find that they are not helping us but hurting us by adding fuel to the raging fire. This is because all too frequently I hear white people who want to diminish blatant racism by stating “well Cosby said…” and “Jason (Whitlock) said that.” The fact that what Bill Cosby and Jason Whitlock say aren’t aimed at the majority of blacks. Yet I have never once heard them speak this fact.

They say that they are saying these things out of love and care for the black community. If I wanted to help the black community I don’t think that I would bother writing a book or touring around on white run TV shows such as Larry King. The fact is that poor blacks whom these admonishments are normally being thrown at don’t watch these shows. I would go and tour the communities in question book a community center and bring a couple of big name stars they want to see. Offer it for free and actually speak to those people and tell them what “I” feel they need to do to improve them and their children’s lives.

But to constantly sit in front of Joe White and his wife telling them the ills of the poor black community serves absolutely no point. I might be inclined to agree with some and I mean a slim few points made by Cosby. I don’t think that Whitlock knows what the hell he is talking about but that is just me. Now, the main problem I have about what Cosby is telling these people is that all that is needed for poor blacks is good food, a lot of talking and saving their money. I think that he needs to get his feet dirty and walk in these people’s shoes for a little while.

Good food isn’t always available, I just did a post on the fact that in some of these black neighborhood grocery stores and I mean large chain stores, you can’t always find healthy alternatives. It is like they are making the food choices for you. Not to mention it takes actual education for these people to make correct food choices. I haven’t seen television shows aimed at blacks that actually addresses these issues. But I see a plethora of black stars on commercials for fast food not to mention every fast food chain is explaining why we should indulge there instead.

Talking to your kids is a must, I agree with his assertion on that one. You can’t get around good communication. Yet, if you are coming from dysfunction you pretty much only know dysfunction. So, wouldn’t you and I think that what it will take is education? Again it falls back to education. You can’t just spout off to people who already know or people who do not represent those you speak of and think that this is somehow going to make change happen. I can’t talk to the people at work about my neighbor’s dirty yard and think that this is somehow going to get him/her to move their butt and clean it up. They aren’t really privy to what I am trying to say.

Saving money isn’t even on the horizon. I know that if I were working for minimum wage with the two kids I have I wouldn’t be able to save a dime and that is just basic mathematics. Maybe we need to look into trying to do more education. That isn’t rocket science. We have to do more than just chastise. We know that doesn’t work. Or at least those with kids know that chastising a kid won’t get them to do what you want. You have to take a proactive stance in getting things done.

So the reason why I can’t get behind what Cosby or Whitlock says is the fact that it is big money to tell the wrong people what is wrong with the poor black community albeit most of the message is bogus. Cosby wants to seem caring and talk all of this rhetoric yet what does he really stand behind? Things such as Coca Cola, Jell-O and Fat Albert! Those things don’t do one thing to lift blacks out of their predicaments. I know that this is unpopular and that these blacks should pull the bootstraps etc.

But, these people don’t have bootstraps. They are poor, un or under educated, saddled with debt, low self esteem, depression and fantasies about a lifestyle they are not privy to. And writing a book or telling their woes to Larry King is somehow going to get them to put it in gear is just as silly as it sounds. Getting your hands dirty and I don’t mean with the ink from the books you write and all the money you will collect from it. I mean from actually working and getting to know the people that you are demonizing.

13 Comments

Filed under African American, Black community, Black Culture, Black Family, Black People, Propaganda, Racism

What Kind Of Vegetable Is A Bacon Bit?

garbage-plate.jpg

The first day I set foot in this Midwestern city I’m now living in I had the awful encounter with the eating habits of a couple of ladies from my black community. I was hoping that this was not the norm but just a couple of ladies in the severe minority who just had no clue about diet, fat or what constitutes vegetables. I am concerned with the eating habits of my community and the fact that we are seriously on track with America’s killer diet.

I walked into a store that seems to be all over this area and went to the salad bar to make myself lunch. As I stood there picking through the salad greens and different vegetables to add to my salad two ladies walked in and came to the salad bar as well. They were both of a larger stature and one turned to the other when she saw the salad and said “Girl, you know I don’t eat no salad.” The other lady said to her “Girl this is where they have those chicken wings I told you about.” She then bypassed the salad and went to the end of the bar where they house the soups and I guess chicken wings. She piled a container high with BBQ chicken wings and then proceeded to dump a bunch of bacon bits on top of them.

I about fainted as I couldn’t imagine eating the chicken wings let alone bacon bits. I know that this may sound a bit self righteous but I have to admit that I am not a big fan of the meat. I love vegetables and spent part of my life as a vegetarian. Now that I have a family I cook a lot of meat so added chicken, turkey and seafood to my diet. I still do not partake in the red meats or pork. Now I allow people the right to pick and choose their own foods without finger pointing from myself. But, this was just too much for me to handle. Both ladies were talking about weight and dieting yet from what I saw this was the furthest thing from their minds.

Now that I have been living here for a while and getting around to the store doing my grocery shopping I have noticed some seriously terrible facts. For one this isn’t isolated to these two women. I have seen more than my share of some seriously bad food choices by blacks in this community. And that the obesity rate has to be enormous forgive the pun. Second the neighborhoods are full of fast food restaurants which seem to constantly be bursting with people. There are these Chop Suey places all over and you would think “great something low fat.” Nope, this isn’t the Chop Suey you would get at a Chinese restaurant. This is artery clogging, fat dripping, full of salt concoction that seems to be one of those dishes that might cause a coronary right after it has been ingested.

Third thing I noticed was that while in the store shopping there is a serious lack of nutritional foods. There are absolutely no good choices of frozen vegetables. They all seem full of butter or flavor and salt. The snack aisle has a lack of unsalted or baked anything. Looking for popcorn and they had absolutely NONE that wasn’t extra butter or caramel or kettle corn. I like low salt version or just the kind I can pop myself. Also, the fresh foods or healthy foods are so much more expensive than the high fat, sodium foods. I have been accustomed to shopping where I had instant access to whole foods right inside the grocery store. Here I believe that I have to shop in a, forgive the term but, “white” area or at a whole foods grocer which I haven’t found yet.

Now that I have seen this lack of access to correct food choices I have to wonder is the reason the people in this area are choosing this unhealthy food is due to a lack of healthy choices or because of culture. I really don’t feel that it is culture because I see others of our culture making better choices. I believe that with a lack of proper nutrition education, a lack of resources, lack of access to nutritious foods and the higher cost of highly nutritious alternatives makes the killer foods more appealing. Not to mention that in school the meals they serve are high in fat, sodium and low in nutritional value. This fact makes it hard for people to know exactly what types of foods they should be consuming. I would like to see programs started to help people make better food choices.

5 Comments

Filed under African American, Black community, Black Culture, Black Family, Black People, Minorities, Personal, Random Thoughts, Rant

Breaking Bad

breakingbad.jpg

It never fails that when the television or movies which have a black drug dealer he usually is dealing in crack and is portrayed as the scum of the earth. Of course I am not here to argue that they are anything different. I watch a new show called “Breaking Bad” which chronicles the life of a chemistry teacher who seems like the most unwitting meth lab drug dealer. Not only is this fellow not the scum of the earth he just so happens to be struggling to make ends meet for a pregnant wife and a physically handicapped son all on a meager teachers salary and did I mention he just found out that he is dying of inoperable lung cancer.

The show has somehow turned this would be scum of the earth drug dealer into a likeable I feel so sorry for you guy with whom we are destined to root for. Now I don’t know many if anyone who rooted for any black crack house cocaine dealers. We never get a chance to see the desperate circumstances under which these men started dealing drugs. I have to laugh at the fact that when you are a crack dealer you have a crack house. Sure you may be cooking your crack in there but it is a low form of drug manufacturing as opposed to methamphetamine which somehow gets the term meth lab as if they are chemists when they start cooking meth in their laboratories.

Meth house Crack lab it is all the same a bunch of dealers cooking drugs to pump out into our neighborhoods black and white. When was the last time on any show has anyone looked at the young black kid standing on the corner wielding a gun and shooting an innocent bystander while aiming for his rival gang banging drug dealing adversary and asked I wonder what his story is and how he got into this lifestyle. Nope we don’t get to know them, understand them, care about them only hate and despise what they do and who they are.

So they show us a benign white meth lab character who could be any neighbor, friend, family member, teacher or fellow church patron in America. This is in total contrast to the up to no good thug who inevitably represents ALL crack dealers. They are gun savvy and not afraid to use it; in fact they are ready and willing to use it at the drop of a dime. My point with this whole thing is the propaganda that is used to sway people into a certain feeling when they hear about these drug dealers. When one hears about the meth dealer you think of a benign white person who is yes breaking the law but not “really” harming people. And you have the crack dealer whose only goal is to destroy lives with drugs and crime. Not to mention cops are saying that meth makes crack look like child’s play.

I am not saying that this show is not worthy of being watched as I watched it and found it entertaining. I am just concerned with all the race based propaganda that surrounds television and movies. People don’t realize the affects that this type of propaganda has on children and adults for that matter. Then wonder why when a black person comes in for employment they are turned down cold. This is a direct reason why children when asked to describe a drug dealer start with “a black male probably from the inner city ghetto.” This type of conditioning needs to end as it is helping to perpetuate the negative stereotypes and thus cause prejudgment of an entire race based on nothing more than false scenarios pumped out by the media.

5 Comments

Filed under African American, Black community, Black Culture, Black Family, Black People

Life Wasted

16_teddy_bear.jpg

This type of thing pisses me off worse than racist people and that is saying a lot. A man walks on a freeway overpass in Hawaii and throws a two and a half year old toddler off thirty feet down. The boy was struck by one or two cars and was pronounced dead at the scene. This type of belligerent stupidity just drives me wild. It drives me just crazy because that poor, poor baby couldn’t do anything to protect himself from the crazy whims of this idiot. I have kids and don’t know exactly how I would react if this happened to my precious little ones.

The 23-year-old man named Matthew M. Higa was arrested shortly after when a witness called police after witnessing him toss the baby. Police said that the man was calm and smoking a cigarette as if nothing was going on. He had been left with the baby by the mother’s boyfriend who in addition with the child’s grandfather was left to watch the baby by his mother who had gone out earlier that day. The mother has to come home and find out that her baby is dead because of irresponsible people. Everyone in the apartment complex where these people and the perpetrator live claimed that this man Higa has always displayed strange and often troubling behavior daily since moving there.

This makes me wonder why anyone with half a brain would leave this schmuck in charge of a dog let alone a precious little baby. Are people that stupid and shiftless or lazy that he couldn’t secure better care for this child other than the apartment complex idiot? Neighbors say that the child had wondered off earlier that day and was returned to his home where other neighbors saw the mother’s boyfriend take the boy to Higa as he has done many times before. Which sounds to me like this was a tragedy in the making. My only hope is that the fall killed him and he didn’t have to suffer the fall “and” being hit by two cars. As of right now there is no official cause of death.

This tragedy not only affects the child or his family. This affects the occupants of the cars that struck the child, the witnesses who saw the man throw the child, the police, paramedics and bystanders at the scene as well as the morgue and not to mention all of the people hearing, seeing and reading about this. The only question left to ask is why, why would this man throw this child to his death. I understand that this is something we may never truly know since this man is obviously crazy.

Higa had been a patient at The Queen’s Medical Center’s psychiatric ward as recently as Dec. 11. Not to mention he has been a suspect in an Aug. 15, 2004 negligent homicide investigation yet charges were declined by the police and he was never arrested. Even though he was quite calm at the arrest he became belligerent and had to be taken back to the mental hospital for evaluation before being taken back to the police station for booking. Which only makes me ask again, why was this fool with that baby?

Yet people will argue that abortion should be illegal and all I can ask is why. Next thing you know you will have more and more ill equipped parents allowing perverts and nuts oversee their children ruining many, many more lives. With so many kids in foster care it isn’t as if there are enough adoptive families to take care of all these unwanted children. This is definitely not a push for abortion rights I am just raising some questions as to what are the pro life people thinking. If we actually cared about children then teens, then adults then the elderly maybe I wouldn’t have a problem with pro life thinking. But at this time we only care about the fetus and then once the child is born who cares not my problem.

Then people are huffing and puffing when those same kids need to have a healthcare bill passed. All of a sudden it is all about them, they don’t want to have to foot the bill for some poor people who can’t afford healthcare. So it would seem that if we stopped trying to make those poor people bring these kids here we could avoid all these other problems as well. Maybe we should also think about the family planning that we are teaching, because obviously this mother didn’t realize that she could just say NO. And now there is an innocent baby’s life wiped out on the freeway. Something has to be done; people need to start thinking and looking at the big picture.

1 Comment

Filed under Abortion, child abuse, child death, child neglect

Dumbing Down Education

teecher.gif

I was reading an opinion piece on the Yahoo website when I ran across an opinion piece titled “Dumbing down higher education.” It starts off talking about how not only are some people going to the polls to pick a candidate but they are going to vote on ending racial preference. My first thought was “what they are voting on ending white privilege, now this I have to read!” Yes quite naïve of me to think that anyone would actually be talking about white privilege and its demise. No, this person was of course talking about affirmative action. Sigh. I think my opinions of affirmative action are pretty clear.

Anyway the piece is talking about the fact that some would like to lower the entrance requirements in California colleges in order to bring up the attendance of blacks and Latinos. Since they discontinued affirmative action the “best” colleges in California have of course whitened up a bit and that has people worried. The blacks and Latinos have started ending up in less prestigious schools. The author felt that changing the standards would be doing the ill prepared black and Latinos a severe disservice as then they would probably fail. I can’t necessarily argue with that as it could very well be true. But, what I can argue with is the assertion that they are just lacking in knowledge and skill versus their white and Asian counterparts. I don’t think people look at the big picture.

The author states “High standards have served the UC system well. UC Berkeley and UCLA are among the best schools in the nation, public or private. But after California voters banned giving preference in admission to the schools on the basis of race or ethnicity, fewer blacks and Hispanics made the cut for Berkeley and UCLA, and ended up elsewhere in the system.” Now how do less blacks and Latinos in the “best” colleges serve the system well? I think that we all know the answer to this one. Why should these so called “best” schools be out of reach for those blacks and Latino students, shouldn’t they have access to the best education possible. AHA! This is what I have been hinting at.

This author can’t see past the fact that the students are ill educated. She can’t see that if these students had the SAME or EQAUL education as the white students no one would have a need to lower standards or affirmative action or any other programs developed because of the fact that whites have consistently ensured that ‘they’ would benefit from the disparities. Before you even ask, whites ensure they benefit when they: look the other way when white privilege is working its magic for them, use racial bias to see blacks as unqualified, uneducated and unworthy so as to keep them out of jobs, housing and well equipped schools, white flight in order to keep the neighborhood “good” i.e. White, and by acting as if everything IS equal therefore there is no need for any of the aforementioned programs.

Instead of worrying about the minority students using some special privilege to get into the colleges why don’t we focus our attention on getting the minority students access to the same education. Christine Sleeter has done intensive research on racism in schools. It goes beyond the lack of funding, run down school buildings, inadequate supplies; it goes to the fact that even the educational staff is predominantly white. And unfortunately regardless of what people say some teachers and not only the white ones have preconceived thoughts about minorities. So they tend to “teach” to the minorities in a different way than the white students would get. This causes disparities in learning.

The fact is that predominantly white schools have the neighborhoods, funds, teachers, supplies, buildings and curriculum that nurture students to become the type of learners who will be able to not only get into “good” colleges but have a higher ability to do well. The predominantly minority schools lack funding, adequate buildings, supplies, teaching staff, curriculum and plain old respect. Thus this starts from an early age the student never has a chance to not only learn but to get a fair shot at becoming the type of student who will not only get into but achieve at these “good” colleges.

4 Comments

Filed under African American, Black community, Black People, Racism

The Flip Side Of Racism

652516478_8c33faf5d8.jpg

Sometimes I feel that talking with people about race is almost pointless. The problem I find is that people are so entrenched in this thinking that there is no problem and that black people are just complainers. A person actually said that “Whites have gone out of their way (granted, I know some that make me cringe on both sides) to bridge the gap but nothing is ever enough.” This statement implies that whites have actually made everything between blacks and themselves equal yet somehow we blacks want more.

When in actuality each time blacks make noise to have a disparity ended white people start talking about some sort of special privilege. So if asking for equal pay for blacks since they are only making 78% of white pay is a special privilege then what is it when whites are receiving it? The same thing for equal access to employment, it equates to special treatment or preferential treatment for blacks. Yet when whites have unfettered access to jobs it is just considered life. When in reality it is what is considered white privilege.

White privilege seems to be the thorn in the white races paw. Denial of white privilege is high on the list of most white people who comments on my Blog and they will undoubtedly be out in force for this post as well. This denial goes so deep that they can sit and look right at a disparity and attribute it to the “bad day” or the “stupid individual” syndrome. I believe that white people are thinking that white privilege is equal to being told that they are racist or white supremacists in some way. White privilege is a byproduct of white supremacy and racisms of the past and present. In essence white privilege is the flip side of racism.

What exactly is white privilege and how does it affect people? When you seek admission to a university, apply for a job, or hunt for an apartment, you don’t look threatening. Almost all of the people evaluating you look like you they are white. They see in you a reflection of themselves – and in a racist world, that is an advantage. You smile. You are white. You are one of them. You are not dangerous. Even when you voice critical opinions, you are cut some slack. After all, you are white. I adapted that passage from Robert Jensen a Professor at the University of Texas.

Going by that interpretation of what white privilege is then what happens when you are black. When I seek admission to a university, apply for a job, or hunt for an apartment, I look threatening or like I might mean trouble. Almost none of the people evaluating me look like me since they are white. They see me as a reflection of every negative thing seen or heard about people who share my race – and in a racist world, that is a disadvantage. I smile. I am black I must be up to something. I am not one of them. I am dangerous. Especially when I voice critical opinions, I am cut no slack. After all, I am black.

According to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances, non-white Americans own 10 or 11 cents of wealth for every 100 cents of wealth owned by white Americans. And, even more troubling, the wealth gap between whites and non-whites expanded 21% from 1998 to 2001. The racial injustices of American history do not fully explain wealth disparities, but they are impossible to understand without reference to historical advantages and disadvantages.

Instead of reading this last passage and interjecting any and every excuse that does not involve white privilege why not just for once try and imagine that this phenomenon just might exist. And that these disparities aren’t explained away by racist rhetoric such as blacks don’t have education or are lazy and don’t want to work etc. It isn’t that hard to set aside the denial all the preconceived notions and or racist rhetoric and actually look at the disparity between the races which is flashing like a neon sign.

6 Comments

Filed under African American, Black community, Black People, Racism, Subjugation

Profiling Child Sex Trade Perpetrators

cebucitythephilippin365.jpg

Sexual predators from America are traveling to South East Asia to take part in a sex trade. The problem with this sex trade is that the prostitutes are young boys and girls some as young as five. I was watching as MSNBC did an undercover show on this subject. And I am going to give my take on the whole mess.

We start off seeing a dusty village in Cambodia as a teenage boy greets the hidden camera man and offers him sex with young girls. We are then introduced to a doctor named Jerry Albom from Oklahoma who says that he frequents Cambodia at least once or twice a year. He is one of the guys who go there to meet these underage girls. He actually tells the camera man that he should tell people that he is going to another part of SE Asia as the people might suspect that he is going to Cambodia for the young girls. He brags that he has had two, three, four and sometimes five girls at a time in his hotel room to pleasure him. He says that he likes them in their early teens fifteen or sixteen but sometimes girls’ young as fourteen sneak in, and oh well as he put it.

Now if this were a black doctor people would undoubtedly be saying that this is indicative of the black race to have something like this going on. Just look at how dog fighting is now a black cultural thing and linked to rapping. All because one high profile black man is convicted of dog fighting. It does not matter that dog fighting originated in Europe or that they even interviewed white people who admit to dog fighting and say they will continue. Yet it in no way diminishes or tarnishes the white race.

So we know that if this doctor were a black man not only would he be arrested and held to the fullest extent of the law, the whole black race would now be subject to suspicion and scrutiny from white America. In fact they had a hidden camera in one of the clubs frequented by western patrons and the underage girls they intended to meet. They were ALL white men. Should I now think that somehow the actions of those white men are indicative of all white men? Somehow this just proves the deviant sexual behavior that white men possess and we should now profile them since it will keep our children safe. It sounds silly yet this is exactly the attitude we show with black people.

If a few black males are walking in a group, watch out it is probably a gang of thugs. A black lady is at the store with children, she is probably a single mother on welfare and looking to steal. These are some of the stereotypes that blacks have to deal with because one person fits the stereotype we all do as well. Yet whites get to forego the stereotypical bull and get judged by individual merit. Constantly I am being barraged with people saying on my Blog that people should be judged as individuals, which is all fine and dandy.

Yet these people these are the biggest perpetrators who will then turn around and say that “blacks should just get an education, and start speaking correct English.” Maybe I should start stereotyping whites; it wouldn’t be hard, since according to the numbers from the government they are committing the most crimes anyway. I could start grabbing my children when I see white men the way white women grab their purses in the presence of a black man. Since we now understand that they are pedophiles.

Speaking of which I could also ask the school to put a video camera in the room of my son’s teacher if she is white, since she is probably going to try and rape him. Better yet, she should just be fired as I don’t feel comfortable I mean with all the white female teachers raping young boys. Just like the black kids look like a gang of thugs, I should be afraid that groups of white kids are going to hang a noose in my tree. Or call my son over a prank on myspace and threaten to come lynch us. I will also beware of white teenaged boys in malls, churches and schools as they seem to have a propensity for shooting up those types of places.

I lived in a large apartment complex once and a lady in the gym was explaining that the office had been wrecked or robbed by some kids. We were all working out at the gym and were discussing the issues of the complex. She then blurted out a stupid question “do you know them?” Now why would we know them, because it was a crime committed and they must be black? How about “did she know them?” Yet, of course not as she wouldn’t know any criminals, why should she.

I don’t know how many times I have had a white person say something such as, “oh my dry cleaner is black, do you know him?” As we sit in a city of thousands of people. I am supposed to know every black person in town. That is when I say “oh, my mail carrier is white, do you know him?” They get such a puzzled look, as if to say why would I know them? Yet they expected me to know this one black whose name they didn’t even know out of thousands. I think that we should play the tit for tat game, if you want to be racially insensitive to someone, they should be just as insensitive back. Maybe that will get people’s attention.

I could surely go on and on with this whole exercise in propaganda, yet it will undoubtedly fly right over the head of those who need to understand it. As they will not see how profiling whites would be helpful but would totally see how profiling those criminal blacks IS. The hypocrisy regarding racial stereotyping runs so deep and has been so ingrained for so long that races that are constantly being stereotyped have taken to internalizing it and becoming some of the biggest perpetrators. As people start to realize that these things can both ways, maybe they will stop all together and we all can be judged by our own actions and not have to be the spokesman of our race.

7 Comments

Filed under African, African American, Black community, Black Culture, Black Family, Black People, child abuse, Child Rape, Criminals, Culture, Diversity, Minorities, Pedophile, Personal, Propaganda, Racism, Rant, Subjugation, Tolerance