Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
2.) 'bü -zhē
5.) ô 'sʊk-ē 'sʊk-ē
I invite everyone to offer their best guesses about how any of these five is spelled…and feel free to offer other relevant words/pronunciations. For your convenience, I’ve included a handy pronunciation key. Cut and paste away!:
\ ă \ as a in pat
\ ā \ as a in ace
\ ä \ as a in father
\ au \ as ou in out
\ b \ as in baby
\ ch \ as ch in chin
\ d \ as d in did
\ ĕ \ as e in bet
\ ē \ as ea in easy
\ f \ as f in fifty
\ g \ as g in go
\ h \ as h in hat
\ ĭ \ as i in hit
\ ī \ as i in ice
\ j \ as j in job
\ k \ as k in kin
\ l \ as l in lily
\ m \ as m in mom
\ n \ as n in own
\ ng \ as ng in sing
\ ō \ as o in no
\ ô \ as aw in law
\ oi \ as oy in boy
\ p \ as p in pop
\ r \ as r in red
\ s \ as s in yes
\ sh \ as sh in shy
\ t \ as t in tie
\ th \ as th in thin
\ th \ as th in the
\ ə\ as u in cut
\ ü \ as oo in loot
\ ʊ \ as oo in foot
\ ûr \ as ur in fur
\ v \ as v in vivid
\ w \ as w in away
\ y \ as y in yet
\ z \ as z in zone
\ zh \ as si in vision
Thursday, January 24, 2008
He must have eaten a Luther:
Maybe that tired, black preacher affected speech lulled brother Clinton to sleep?
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I will not make a habit of writing movie reviews because my girl Zora has staked out this turf and made it clear to me that if I sit on her porch she will shank me (Are you impressed? I picked up some of that prison speak while watching The History Channel). On Monday, in honor of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., I, like all negroes everywhere, went to the movies (in my case 2), bought my monthly comic books (Walking Dead is returning to form; The Punisher and Barracuda have upped it one more level in their on going "feud"; I just discovered Pax Romana and it looks promising; and The Ultimates is mixed at this point--beautiful art, but too dark, and the characters are sort of blah), and went to Chipotle for a pork carnitas fajita burrito.
On that day, I was blessed to see a great movie, There Will be Blood (TWBB), and a horrible movie, Cloverfield. The former is an undeniable classic. As I told a friend, by comparison, TWBB makes P.T. Anderson's body of earlier work look like a set of movies shot by well-intentioned (but untalented) 5th graders. TWBB is the work of a master, working with a master actor (Danielle Day Lewis), on a set of universal topics (greed, the human heart, faith, nationalism, religious zealotry, family, and human frailty).
By comparison, Cloverfield is the work of an amateur who is grappling with a motif and genre he does not understand. Yes, I took the bait. Yes, I was excited by the viral marketing. I also believed that JJ Abrams had the skill to reimagine the monster movie genre, and perhaps introduce something new to science fiction story-telling. I was wrong, horribly wrong. Cloverfield is the girl in the 5th grade who promises to show you something special if you go behind the bushes with her, but instead you see nothing. By analogy, one thinks Cloverfield is a beautiful woman, but instead your love/lust object is oiling up her inner thighs and playing a man like he is a naive trick. I have long asserted that in order to either innovate upon, or to reimagine a genre, one must have mastery over it. Cloverfield demonstrates that JJ Abrams has neither mastery over, nor any particular insight into, this particular sub-genre of science fiction.
Don't be mistaken, I am not a film snob. I know and love bad movies. In fact, I am a connoisseur of them (They Live, Armageddon, Flash Gordon, etc.) As a point of reference, I was one of those unfortunate souls whom saw Prince's magnum opus, Under the Cherry Moon, in the movie theater--a film so horrible that the audience cheered when Prince, our protagonist, is contemplating suicide because his death would have mercifully ended the film. Under the Cherry Moon is the first film I contemplated walking out of before its conclusion. Prior to watching Cloverfield, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe occupied second place on my list of worst movies of all time:
Postscript: courtesy of the Internet Movie Database here are some answers to the mysteries of Cloverfield--http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1060277/faq#.2.1.34
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
28-year-old actor was nominated for Oscar for ‘Brokeback Mountain’
NEW YORK - A New York Police Department spokesman says the actor Heath Ledger has been found dead at a downtown Manhattan residence.
According to TMZ.com, Ledger, 28, was found dead in his bed in one of his residences in Soho by his housekeeper at 3:35 p.m. ET Tuesday.
The actor has a two-year-old daughter with former fiancee Michelle Williams. Ledger was set to play the Joker in the upcoming Batman film "The Dark Knight." He received an Academy Award nomination for his work in "Brokeback Mountain."
Monday, January 21, 2008
In America’s poorest ghettos, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s portrait is one of the most popular subjects of public art. These images, which I have been documenting since 1977, regularly appear on the walls of the liquor stores, auto-repair shops, fast-food restaurants, mom-and-pop stores and public housing projects of Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and many other cities across the country. The majority are the work of amateur artists. Though Dr. King is usually front and center, he is often accompanied by other inspirational figures: Nelson Mandela, John Paul II, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Pancho Villa. He is often accompanied by his famous phrase, “I have a dream” – a reminder that in many of the communities where these murals exist, the gulf between hope and reality remains far too wide.
-- Camilo José Vergara
To be honest, the game made me feel like this:
In two weeks our victory over the Giants will be more like this:
Friday, January 18, 2008
As I stated in response to Zora, not only was Toni Morrison’s “Bill Clinton is the first black president” comment not racist, it was aggressively anti-racist in that it was meant to underscore the inherent ridiculousness of racial stereotypes. I was extremely disappointed (though not surprised) when pundits and cultural critics in the mainstream media tripped over one another to condemn Morrison’s “racism.” If they’d only read Morrison’s short story “Recitatif,” they’d understand that Morrison would never condone essentialist racial stereotypes. The story follows the lives of two women—one white, one black. From childhood to adulthood, the women harbor racial stereotypes about each other, but Morrison uses ambiguous language and signals, so it is never totally clear which woman is white and which is black. “Recititaf” draws its force from one of the cruel (yet hilarious) jokes of American race relations: due to our historical and cultural proximity, black people and white people have many of the same stereotypes about each other. To be fair, these stereotypes apply to all groups that position themselves opposite another, but as I’m most familiar with black-white relations, that will be my focus.
1.) They stink
…as in, their bodies smell funny. “White people smell like wet dog,” “white people’s hair smells like wet dog,” “white women’s diggum smacks smell like wet dog.” Clearly, wet dog smell figures prominently in black stereotypes about white people’s odor. And any casual perusal of white supremacist literature and music will turn up assertions of black people’s supposed stink. Cooler heads have suggested that argue that genes, diet, cultural preferences for hair and body products can account for different racial odors. I can’t say that I’ve noticed, but then again, I don’t go around sniffing folks.
2.) They are sexual deviants
Many white people believe that black women are promiscuous and have a primal sexual energy (signaled by the hypnotic movement of black women’s hips and asses on the dance floor). Many black people say that white women are nasty and loose. Black men, in particular often brag about the relative ease with which they can bed or turn out white women. White folks (and black folks too) have bought into the idea that black men are sexually potent and promiscuous. Black people often say that white men are into “freaky shit” (s and m, interracial cuckolding, bisexuality). Nowadays, black men are getting some of that with the overblown D.L. panic, but the “freaky” stereotype is still relatively rare for them.
3.) They have terrible taste
…in music/movies/books/clothes/food/comedy/beauty, etc. Black people like Tyler Perry plays and movies, crappy stand up comics, lowbrow rap and derivative R and B, gross, greasy fast food, and tacky, bright colored clothes. White people like “Friends,” crappy stand up comics, unlistenable rock and country music, bland food (or sometimes “exotic” cuisines), and lame clothes. What makes this one an interesting stereotype is that it often goes beyond generalizations about cultural preferences. This stereotype tends to bolster the idea of differing racial aesthetic capacities. The white vs. black “tastes” typically break down along the binaries of affect vs. authenticity, formal training vs. instinct, script vs. improv, craft vs. style…in other words, (white) mind vs. (black) body or (black) soul.
4.) They don’t discipline their kids
Without this stereotype, 95% of black hack comedians wouldn’t have material. According to popular stereotypes spread among black people, white kids can curse, disrespect, and hit their parents, all without being punished. White people, on the other hand, look at unruly, vulgar black kids in public space like malls, schools, public transportation, and think that black kids are generally out of control due to absentee parenting or disrespectful black culture. There’s no shortage of asshole kids who have little respect for others’ property or public space, but racial tunnel vision makes us see only what confirms our prejudices. When someone has destroyed or defaced public property in an interracial neighborhood, many white people just assume that black kids did it; most black people probably think that drunken white fratboys did it.
5.) They are untrustworthy
I’ve come across quite a few old black people who tell me that white people are shady backstabbers, not by nature, but certainly by having been raised in a culture of white supremacy. As for white perceptions of black dishonesty, I will offer my first hand experiences. Occasionally, I’ve had to duck out of sporting events, museum visits, and symphony concerts at the last minute. Rather than waste time trying to sell the tickets outside of the venues, I’ve opted to give them to the first taker. But since I’m black, especially a black man, white people refuse to take the free tickets from me. One might argue that white people aren’t responding to my blackness; they’re responding to my suspicious behavior of giving away free stuff. That’s somewhat understandable, but then why do I never have issues giving them away to the first black person who shows up?
Can you all think of others?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Old School Player: Come on, calm down..
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: Good pussy costs money!
Old School Player: I didn't promise you anything, it doesn't have to be like this, please calm down..
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: I am gonna tell your wife. I left a good man for you.
Old School Player: (Inaudible)...
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: I am gonna call my friend right now and leave a voice mail. I am gonna tell her that I don't love you anymore. I want everyone to know. Damn, I shouldn't have kept fuckin' with you. I am gonna tell your wife. I left a good man for you.
Old School Player: Baby, calm down...
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: No more kissing, no more fucking. No! I don't want to share you.
Old School Player: Come on baby, please calm down...
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: If you really loved me you wouldn't want to share me either! I hate you!
Old School Player: Come on baby...
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: I hate you!
OSP and YDDL walk out together and presumably fight outside. YDDL comes back in, she sits down, collects herself and talks on the phone. She leaves 5 minutes later. What struck me was that OSP was calm the whole time. It was pretty clear OSP didn't care about losing his young mistress as he was more worried about being embarrassed by YDDL's behavior. It seems this sister, who was much more attractive and younger than our Old School Player, was really invested in old dude.
What do you all think? My smart money is on her returning to OSP and continuing on as the mistress. Plus, and this is up for debate, I believe that the more histrionic and upset a person is, the more invested they are in keeping that relationship alive. My money says they get back together this weekend. Your thoughts?
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
date: Dec 18, 2007 8:03 PM
subject: WGA Residuals
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I now offer the following (and yes, I know our parents thought we were ridiculous at the time):
Add some Breakin:
Flavor with some Krush Groove:
Mix in some Cool as Ice:
And we have this:
As a culture are we this bereft of ideas? And doesn't history indeed come full circle when "whites" through their imitation of "black" popular culture eventually come to own it?
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
However, I do have to admit that while I correctly predicted an Obama defeat, a big part of me, the proud, respectable negro part of me, really wanted to see him win. While political scientists, pundits, and other analysts are conducting a New Hampshire postmortem, we will not know for some time if Obama was defeated because of the "Bradley effect," i.e. white respondents reporting to pollsters that they will vote for the black candidate, when in the privacy of the voting booth these respondents then vote for the white candidate (and in an interesting twist, a white, female candidate). Alternatively, predictions of an Obama victory may have been a function of a sampling error, where as Andrew Kohut in The New York Times points out, the preferences of white respondents in New Hampshire making less than 50k a year were not "captured" by surveys. These voters disproportionately did not vote for Obama, what I affectionately call the PWT effect, and the pundits and analysts were blindsided by the subsequent failure to predict a Hillary victory (click here for a thorough list of possible explanations for Obama's defeat). Ultimately, Obama, his supporters, and the pundits, were caught in a "Damn!" moment by Hillary's victory--whatever the causal variables which may explain it:
First, Obama is in a crusade for hope. While not a problematic theme (who can disagree with "hope"?) it has transformed Obama into a vessel for the dreams and desires of others. This is an important, yet simultaneously almost banal observation that demands reiteration. Obama is a vessel for the hopes and dreams of others, but who are these others? What do they imagine? In their eyes, what is he a vessel for?
Here, Obama's candidacy has been positioned, and has quite skillfully positioned itself, as a force for "racial healing." For the Right, the Left, and for the tragic mulatto crowd, a vote for Obama ushers in a "post-racial future." For the Right, Obama is the embodiment of a "color-blind" America. But, as part of their racial project the mere mention of race, or racial difference, or for that matter racism, is itself "racist." For the "color-blind" Right/neo-liberal Left, to speak truth to power, is itself a racist act. For them (and quite disingenuously in my opinion given Bush 1 and 2, Reagan, et al's assault on black people's sanity), Obama's race is irrelevant. Further, Obama's candidacy hints at a reality where race does not "matter," and to bring forth questions of race as they relate to Obama borders on being impolitic at worse, and impolite, at best.
For the tragic mulatto and self-consciously bi-racial crowd, Obama is a mascot. He signals a future where self-identified bi-racial folk will be accepted in a wonderful, post-racial world where one can be all things to all people, and where the fact of race will have no burdens, no consequences, and no obligations:
For the Left, an Obama candidacy signals the arrival of a type of political humanism where all citizens manage to forget the past (and exercise selective memory regarding the present) and to live in a world which appreciates "difference." But, this is a post-racial future where race, and its inconvenient baggage, neither has purchase nor power. As articulated by Gary Kamiya on Salon.com, if we could all just move forward, if we as a society could find a racial "healer" as opposed to a "divider" (those troublemakers who talk about discrimination, racism, and white supremacy), we as a society could transcend racial difference. More pointedly, the Left in its vision for a post-racial future wants a safe, conciliatory, black leader who privileges the good will which ostensibly underlies the intentions of white liberals.
Again, no plain speakers need apply to the cult of "multiculturalism" and "diversity" because race is an unfortunate "social construction," a social construction which is only skin deep. For the post-racial Left, we are all human, and no troublesome folk (be they black, brown, yellow, red or white) need apply. Collectively, these post-racial knuckleheads (or PRK's as I label them) embrace Obama as a "magical negro." Although their agendas are different, these factions see in Obama their hope for a post-racial future, and he becomes the site for a type of magical, racial catharsis. Ultimately PRK's look to a future in which race is magically transcended. However, I suspect their understanding of the magical negro is closer to this one:
Don't misunderstand my position. I believe that one of the ironies of Obama's candidacy is that these necessary conversations regarding black American's support for his campaign (or lack thereof) highlight our political sophistication. While we are proud of Obama, our cynicism, suspicion, and deep seeded reservations point to a profound understanding of power, race, privilege, and politics. While the Right has long lamented that black support for the Democrats is evidence of a plantation mentality--disregarding the fact that there are many rational, self-interested reasons for our being "behind the mule"--we have been ahead of the curve on many issues (for example, black folk saw through Bush 2 long before white people).
I am proud of both our insight and our caution. For example, as The Washington Post recently highlighted, there are many reasons for black Americans to approach the Obama campaign with caution. Quite logically, many black Americans are concerned about the reasons underlying white support for Obama. What are his allegiances? Who is he beholden to? Why would white voters support a black candidate? How sincere is their interest? In addition, many black Americans, myself included, are deeply concerned about how Obama has positioned himself as a post-racial black man, a new "New Negro" of sorts, who is emphasizing his immigrant roots in a way that distances himself from his domestic, black brethren. Strategically, Obama's appropriation of the Horatio Alger, American-immigrant narrative sends a signal to whites that: "He is sort of like us"; "He and his people came here and made it with nothing..just like our ancestors!"; "Obama isn't angry like those other black folk who always throw slavery up in our faces!" It is Obama's skillful triangulation between whites and "regular" black folk, that give us regular respectable negroes much to think about.
The next few months will be exciting. Brother Obama, do not doubt for a second that we respectable negroes have your back--a fact that will be demonstrated in South Carolina. You will probably benefit from the calls of politicians, black activists, scholars, and public intellectuals to support your campaign. Moreover, how can we not be happy that a member of our proverbial tribe is competitive for the highest position in the land and is representing himself with such confidence, skill, and political deftness? The next few months will also be challenging. "They" will remind you of your blackness. "They" will test you. It may get so bad that you may have to do an Eddie Murphy to conduct some reconnaissance:
"Well, I think it's -- and again, a wonder of America here, a remarkable breakthrough, this year, as the other group said -- 97 percent, in fact, Iowa, rural, white farming state. Barack Hussein Obama, a black man, wins this for the Democrats...I have been watching him. I watched him on Meet the Press. I watched him on your show, watched him on all the CNN shows -- he never brings race into it. He never plays the race card. Talk about the black community -- he has taught the black community you don't have to act like Jesse Jackson; you don't have to act like Al Sharpton. You can talk about the issues. Great dignity. And this is a breakthrough, and good for the people of Iowa."
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I differ from Chauncey in that I think that Obama has a chance to beat whomever the Republicans nominate. I also differ from him because I would never even joke about eating chitlins. However, we agree that, in general, the Democrats are poor strategists compared to the Republicans, and that the Democrats are absolutely clueless when it comes to choosing their presidential candidates. Take a look at this list of losing Democratic Nominees from 1984 to the present:
Gore (don’t give me that “But he won the popular vote and they stole
Just look at that list for a second. Is it even possible to imagine a more lifeless, uninspiring group of Democratic politicians? What this list tells me, though, is that the Democrats do not learn from their mistakes, and that Hillary will most likely be their nominee. Why? Because they believe that she is the “safe” choice (though she is anything but). Because she is an insider with “relevant experience” (though she has little).
Let’s revisit 2004 for a moment. Republicans’ charge them with being antipatriotic, so what do the Democrats do? They get all giddy about Wesley Clark running, and they ultimately nominate a
We live in interesting political times. Due to an odd convergence of circumstances, the three potential democratic presidential nominees are an economic populist, a woman, and a (kind of) black man, and the last one is the most electable candidate of the three! To see why Obama is the best bet for the Dems right now, let’s examine his main rivals:
Edwards, a white male and a Southerner, may seem like a good choice given that the last few Democratic presidents have been white men from the South. But Democrats got extremely lucky with Clinton and Carter: not only were they white male Southerners, they were up against Republicans whose loser-dom was too great for even the Democrats to fuck up. Most important, though, was that they came off as regular guys, despite their high levels of formal education. Edwards, on the other hand, is an effete pretty boy. Independents, especially male ones, will never vote for him in large numbers; he’s too “queer.” They can’t imagine having a brew with Edwards. Though these criteria are idiotic, they certainly explain Gore and Kerry’s failure to mop the floor with a man who, while just north of functionally retarded, appears to be a regular guy despite his privileged upbringing. Edwards can “man up” and criticize Hillary’s crying all he wants, this country will not elect a Southern dandy. The mainstream media will make sure of that. And I haven’t even gotten to the fact that Edwards’ platform is populist, poverty-centered, and critical of big business. Do you think that’s gonna fly in our current political climate, where any critique of the institutions that foster poverty earns one the socialist label?
It’s bad enough that Hillary represents boring “politics as usual.” The fact that she is a
So Obama’s the man…except that he isn’t and probably won’t be. The Democrats embody all four of the pre-Wizard Oz pilgrims combined: no brain, no heart, no home,
no balls no noyve. Obama is the magical Wizard poised to restore to the Democratic Party its squandered mojo. For the Democratic establishment, though, Obama’s campaign is too much like a fairy tale, and nominating him would be too much like right.
Chauncey DeVega says: New Hampshire Primary Reaction Part 1--Hillary Clinton and the Power of White Women's Tears
Hillary has now used her secret powers to breath life back into her campaign. Despite her husband's comments questioning Obama's experience, and electability; his observations that Obama's handlers (and by implication his supporters) are living in a fairy tale; or Hillary's jabs that Obama is no MLK--comments which undoubtedly turned off many voters and pushed them into Obama's camp--Hillary survives to fight another day. Representatives from the Hillary camp even went so far as to speculate aloud that if Obama continues to win and to fashion himself in the mold of MLK or Bobby Kennedy, he may very well be killed. But, even that tasteless comment (if not a reasonable concern), didn't prevent Hillary from capturing victory.
The media loves a horse race, the American public loves a close (but fair) election because it encourages their belief that the electoral system "works." And ultimately, we can only hope that these competitive primaries may improve the health of our body politic. But for now, I say kudos to you Miss Hillary because your victory has pushed me one step farther away from that chitlin' sandwich I promised to eat come November if Obama won the election.
To close, here is some secret footage of the celebration at Hillary Clinton's headquarters on Tuesday, January 8th at 11pm. Many Bothans died to bring you this information:
Monday, January 7, 2008
With the New Hampshire primary a day away, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is edging out Hillary Clinton. A USA Today-Gallup poll taken over the weekend has her trailing Barack Obama by 13 points.
“For those of you who have already decided that you are voting for me, do not take this race for granted,” Mr. Obama told voters at a morning rally in New Hampshire. “I know we had a nice boost over the last couple of days, but elections are a funny business. You actually have to wait until people have voted and counted the votes before you know what’s happening.”
Advisers to Mrs. Clinton and former Senator John Edwards played down any effects from Mr. Obama’s victory in Iowa. But one prominent black supporter of Mr. Obama, Representative Artur Davis of Alabama, called this moment “a very precarious time for the Clinton campaign.”
“For black elected officials who either stayed out of this race or have supported Senator Clinton, they’re in a very dicey position right now,” Mr. Davis said, “because their black constituents are about to move overwhelmingly toward Barack Obama.” Outright defections may be unlikely, he said, but he predicted some black Clinton supporters would become “magically unavailable when the Clinton campaign calls them.”
... and one Negro Deserves an Honorable Mention
in the Face of Strong Black Women
Our own Gordon Gartrelle is nominated this week for rethinking his position on how his sisters are portrayed in the media and pledging to be more thoughtful when he engages this topic in the future. He will be a strong ally in our struggle for respect and consideration.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Chauncey Devega says: Gordon Gartrelle this is All Your Fault!--Making Me Put this Lap Dog, Ass Kisser, Uncle Tom, Shelby Steele on This Site
Gordon, you are a bad person--and, you ruined the climax of my post for next week. Shame on you!
Friday, January 4, 2008
The presidential primary season has just begun and Barack Obama has surprised a lot of pundits by surpassing Hillary Clinton at the polls. Already, the "yes, but" folks have begun to raise their voices: "It's still early in the race;" "Iowa isn't reflective of the rest of the nation;" "Primary votes only reflect the sentiments of true believers;" "Obama will never secure broad support in the general election"... Yes, Obama may be both popular and qualified, but he'll never get elected -- is what it boils down to.
A lot of African-Americans are still reluctant to throw their vote behind Obama not because of any particular policy issues or concerns, but simply because they doubt his electability. The old guard of black leaders voiced their doubts early on expressing "concerns" about his experience and authenticity. We all know that their real concerns have to do with losing their place in the line for white patronage. They didn't/don't like Obama because they feel that he is an upstart and that it isn't his turn. Many younger African-Americans, and those who are not as invested in the leaders of the civil rights era, are less concerned with Obama as an upstart and are unwilling to play the black authenticity game. Still, they do express concerns about Obama's ability to actually get elected. For them, Hillary Clinton represents a safer choice.
Back in 2005, Al Sharpton challenged black folks to think more critically about their support for the Clintons. While I am certainly not a fan of Al Sharpton, I have to admit that he does a good job of putting shit out on the table. Given the rise in "yes, but" voices and the inclination to go with a "safer choice," I'll raise again Sharpton's challenge: Why do we support Hillary and Bill to the degree that we do? Is Hillary really a safer choice than Obama in this election?
I never really understood the joke that Bill Clinton was America's first black president. I don't know who first said it, but be they black or white, it was a terribly racist statement. The Clinton's are clearly comfortable around African-Americans and it is true that they have appointed a fair number of black faces in high places (they do like symbolic Negroes). Does this make them black? (Given this criteria, we could then say that George Bush, Jr. is America's second black president.) Believe it or not, Bill Clinton was even inducted into the Black Hall of Fame. I didn't even know that such a thing existed.
The Clinton's both have been very good at strategically playing the wigger role. Bill Clinton won many over when he pulled out his saxophone and began wiggling his hips during his first bid for the presidency. Both Bill and Hillary have expressed their appreciation for soul food. At every opportunity they jump into our pulpits and give speeches with accents and mannerisms so affected that they would have made Norman Lear proud.
The Clinton initiative on race, begun in 1997, never went anywhere:
- *Creation of a permanent body, which would be known as the President's Council for One America, to promote harmony and dialogue among the nation's racial and ethnic groups;
- *The Government's development of an education program to keep the public informed about race in America;
- A Presidential ''call to arms'' to leaders of government and the private sector to ''make racial reconciliation a reality;''
- Engagement of youth leaders in an effort to build bridges among the races.
Bill Clinton promised in his first campaign that he would end welfare "as we know it." In endorsing the Republican agenda, he participated in "the most sweeping reversal of social policy since the New Deal." He did exactly what he promised, but not what he led voters to believe. (We've witnessed the same kind of 3-card Molly, double-talk in Hillary's presidential debate responses.) Bill's early rhetoric rang of education and resources that would allow the poor to escape the cycle of dependency on government programs. Somehow the practical translation of this was an increase in the numbers of women and children in homeless shelters. Added to the Clinton list of shame should be failed health-care reform, Operation Gatekeeper and NAFTA.
If the Clinton treatment of Lani Guinier and Marion Wright Edelman is at all representative of how they value and relate to African-Americans, we're in trouble. Guinier was a long-time friend of the Clintons and perceived them as comrades-in-arms in the ongoing fight for civil rights. Bill Clinton nominated her as assistant attorney general for civil rights and promptly sold her down the river when opponents began to challenge and distort her work. The friendship was tossed aside as soon as Guinier represented an impediment to Clinton political ambition. Marion Wright Edelman, too, became persona non grata in the struggle between politics and integrity. She was at first touted as a mentor and role model to Hillary Clinton in her legal training. When Edelman challenged them to live up to their rhetoric and professed ideals, the Clintons distanced themselves. One dear friend that the Clintons decided to keep close was Sheriff Harry Lee of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Yes, this is the same Sheriff Lee that ordered his officers to prevent Katrina evacuees from crossing the Crescent City bridge to safety. Apparently, he was a committed fundraiser for the Hillary for President campaign.
Respectable Negroes, ask yourselves why Hillary Clinton deserves your support. What will you gain from her election to the presidency? Is she really a safe choice? As self-interested as he may have been when he made the statement, we have to wonder if Senator Joeseph Lieberman was right when he said that the Clinton's have used African-Americans like Kleenex.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
- We resolve that as a nation we need to stop saggin'. Stated differently, these United States of America need to stop showing their collective asses and looking raggedy to the rest of the world;
- We resolve to ask ourselves if they are laughing with us, as opposed to at us? Do "they" really get our jokes?
- We resolve never to support authors and pundits who profit from positioning black men and women as enemies.
- We resolve to elect our leaders rather than have them either appointed by the media or be self-appointed. Relevant question: how in the hell does one earn the title of "black leader?"
- Like the rest of the world, we resolve to get some Euros and to use them as our benchmark currency;
- As black men and black women, we resolve to work harder to understand each other and to address our problems as a collective issue in our community;
- We resolve to condemn all efforts to paint black folks as a monolithic ideological group;
- We resolve to be more sympathetic to tragic mulattos (qualifier: this only refers to those who are truly tragic, and not to all mulattoes);
- We resolve to be less sympathetic to self-destructive black athletes and entertainers;
- We resolve to follow the example set by of our nation's leaders and to never, ever snitch;
- We resolve to not frame our decisions and actions in response to white expectations;
- We resolve to always keep in mind that, in spite of the success and power we might attain as individuals, we as Black people have yet to see success as a group in the promised land (A Luta Continua!);
- We resolve to critique adolescent-minded music made by people pushing 40, but we also resolve not to praise mediocre music simply because it's "positive."
- We resolve to complain to the management at local bookstores about their conflation of "niggerlit" with African American literature. (Candy Licker shouldn't be shelved next to Their Eyes were Watching God);
- We resolve to learn Mandarin and/or Cantonese;
- We resolve to do more for each other.