Wednesday, May 21, 2008
It is a hallmark week for the Obama campaign. First, Obama wins the majority of pledged super delegates. Then, and above all odds, he wins the support of that most crucial of voting blocks: the White-Tee wearing young ign'ts.
In the spirit of Dick Hebdidge's work, style is indeed "political":
And what is the cost of change?
Apparently, it is about 10 bucks...
If any of you, our respectable negro allies, have any similarly themed pictures or news items, please send them to us. Perhaps, we will offer an Obama inspired version of the show, What not to Wear.
Random thought, don't the crap rappers in the White-Tee video remind you of Rappin' Granny?
On second thought, Rappin' Granny's lyrics, use of metaphor, and overall flow are better than that of most minstrel hoppers. Ohh devoted respectable negroes, please join me in a collective sigh as I bemoan the current state of Hip Hop.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Juking, Dirty Dancing in the Gym, and YouTube Fame: Why Oh Why Weren't My High School Years Like This?
It is a slow news day. Yes, there is a war in Iraq, a presidential campaign, our economy on the brink of disaster, natural disasters the world over, etc. etc. etc. But, our media have found time to focus on our latest (and greatest) moral panic: horny teenagers "juking" at public high school dances. I am upset and embarrassed...and a bit jealous because folks in my generation had to grind in the corner during basement parties or on the couch when mom and dad were asleep--now these ign'ts have the gall to carry on in public. Such a disgrace!
It seems that Mitchell High School is a wretched hive of scum and villany:
Perhaps saltpeter or Church's fried chicken should be served during lunch in order to prevent this bizarre and outlandish behavior?
I am more disturbed by the voyeurism at play where Mr. Bill O'Reilly (sex-freak extraordinaire himself) takes great delight in talking about the sexual behavior of our young ign'ts:
Random thought: I wonder if O'Reilly is wearing pants during this interview?
Moreoever, it is always great to see the incompetence of overpaid, incompetent black public school administrators on full display. These folks are responsible for educating your children-is the educational mediocrity cultivated by our public schools any surprise?
"I suppose that the morays of many of our people have changed, however the standard has not changed..." Huh? Plus, "there are real consequences because without restraint someone may get naked and engage in the act." So titillating. You know what? The smart money would bet that those teachers were watching, getting all worked up, and getting some ideas for what Mr. and Mrs. Teacher were going to do with each other (or with the students) after the dance. To quote Mr. incompetent black public school administrator, "we missed a teaching moment," One would think so...
We need more responsible parents, and responsible mothers especially ('cause you know all the brothers are locked up) to exercise real parenting--parenting which is supportive, yet firm. For example, the guidance offered by the parent in the following clip is a great example. She scolds her young ign't for having group sex on a Middle School trip (he actually looks about 25 years old) while also being supportive:
Frankly, I can't blame the young brother for being so eager to return to school because I would miss those field trips too.
Maybe this young man will grow up to be a high school administrator some day:
I think it is his true calling--Latarian, High School Administrator--yes, that is a most fitting name.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Does Blacktown.net have any insight to offer on this point:
Guess not--remember, say "blacktown.net" twice a day because it keeps your teeth white.
Oh praise the internet and its wondrous abilities.
Chauncey DeVega's World of Ghetto Nerds: An Iron Man-Gnarls Barkley-Minstrel Hop-Andre and Big Boi-Little Brother-Jay Dee Montage
Goodness--smart, good music, featuring black folk (too rare these days):
I can't resist some Iron Man--bring your children, friends, and family to see this flick because it will make you feel like you are 12 years old again...featuring Ghostface Killah:
You know I hate minstrel hop...damn dirty apes:
But don't say I hate on the South number 1:
But don't say I hate on the South number 2 (I like me some Andre and Big Boi):
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
As detailed by the following article, I am not surprised by the racist incidents endured by Obama campaign workers, nor should you be. In fact, I will make a prediction. If racism and racial animus are determined to be variables which turned the election against Obama, then we will see a further decline in voter turnout come 2012. Simply, all the young, excited, and a bit idealistic and naive young people--"the Obamaholics"--will see the truth of America's semi-permanent racial order revealed. Consequently, rather than being radicalized, they will become dejected and withdrawn.
So conflicted am I, for on one hand I hate bursting the "post-racial" bubble, but on the other hand I love to see the bubble pop:
Surely, these folks are not that naive?
From the Washington Post:
Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause
By Kevin Merida
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 13, 2008; Page A01
Danielle Ross was alone in an empty room at the Obama campaign headquarters in Kokomo, Ind., a cellphone in one hand, a voter call list in the other. She was stretched out on the carpeted floor wearing laceless sky-blue Converses, stories from the trail on her mind. It was the day before Indiana's primary, and she had just been chased by dogs while canvassing in a Kokomo suburb. But that was not the worst thing to occur since she postponed her sophomore year at Middle Tennessee State University, in part to hopscotch America stumping for Barack Obama.
Here's the worst: In Muncie, a factory town in the east-central part of Indiana, Ross and her cohorts were soliciting support for Obama at malls, on street corners and in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and they ran into "a horrible response," as Ross put it, a level of anti-black sentiment that none of them had anticipated.
"The first person I encountered was like, 'I'll never vote for a black person,' " recalled Ross, who is white and just turned 20. "People just weren't receptive."
For all the hope and excitement Obama's candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed -- and unreported -- this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They've been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they've endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can't fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.
the rest of the story continues here...
Monday, May 12, 2008
This story has been under the radar for a quick minute. Apparently, the planned statue in homage to Dr. King is being redesigned because it is, according to critics, "too confrontational." As we commented previously, this sentiment isn't a surprise given America's desire to white-wash Dr. King and his message. More disturbing, at least to this respectable negro and patriotic American, is that the United States has apparently lost so much of its manufacturing capacity, as well as skilled tradespeople and artisans, that we have to import the statues of our national heroes from (of all places) China. The future does indeed belong to the land of the golden dragon doesn't it?
The redesign of King's statue raises another question. What is an appropriate monument to the late Dr. King? How should he be honored? The proposed statue in its ostentatiousness reminds me of a man forced to brag about his accomplishments rather than let the greatness of his work speak for him. In short: the Dr. King statue is Borat wearing a swimsuit tacky--I just coined that phrase, do you like it?
To my eye, King's statue is a more spectacular version of small penis syndrome--where men overcompensate for their endowments by bragging about how big and mammoth they are (no woman could accommodate me, I don't know what to do!); wearing padded boxer briefs to create the illusion of that extra inch (or three); buying large SUV's, Hummers, or Suburbans (hey woman, look here! I have such a big and powerful car that I must be a "big" and "powerful man"); or buying a Corvette aka "the penis car" to compensate for their limited gifts:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a triumphant figure who represents the best of what American society, with all of it complexities and contradictions, can offer. King's accomplishments, in his short life before being stolen from all of us, are so towering that a monument to his greatness (and his unfinished work) need only be a simple one, because King's contributions need not be exaggerated or embellished. Your thoughts?
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Random Star Wars Goodness Number One: The Empire Strikes Barack (great stuff)
Random Star Wars Goodness Number Two: The Star Wars "documentary" on the Battle of Hoth
Random Star Wars Goodness Number Three: Star Wars Gymnasts (Darth Maul would be jealous)
Random Star Wars Goodness Number Four: The Star Wars Gangsta Rap (one of my favorites)
The Force is strong with these ones.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Chauncey DeVega Says: Reverend Wright Investigative Report Number 2--Operation Crabs in a Barrel and Hillary's Victory in Indiana
From: Chauncey DeVega, field operative
Re: Operation Crabs in a Barrel and a Profile of the Principals and Targets
My first report provided some details on Operation Crabs in a Barrel and our finding that Reverend Wright was likely replaced by a duplicate. This first report also outlined my hypothesis that Reverend Wright's personality consists of three very dangerous memory engrams. What follows is a detailed analysis of the powers and abilities possessed by the Reverend Wright doppelganger, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and some adversarial scenarios. Although Hillary was defeated in North Carolina, her victory in Indiana has spurred her to continue the race. Again, we do not completely know what the greater strategic goal of the Greater Opposition Party (GOP) is in this case, nor how Operation Crabs in a Barrel fits into their plans for domination. Hillary's victory, and Rush Limbaugh's support for her campaign, may be part of Operation Crabs in a Barrel or it may be a diversionary operation--field operatives should take note of this possibility as they allocate their resources.
Profile and Analysis: Reverend Wright Doppelganger
Powers and Abilities: Many of his powers remain unknown because of how the Mr. T, Thor, and Black Minstrel personality types may react with one another. Known abilities include: prophetic speech; mental dexterity; righteous anger; momentary superhuman strength; the ability to generate empathy and support via his emotive faces; hand to hand combat training (from his Marine background); laying of hands and tongue speaking (to confuse and disable opponents); spontaneous marching band mind control (this is particularly dangerous as the Wright doppelganger can control the movement of targets); and the "God damn America!" chant which causes targets to engage in uncontrolled fits of speech. Wright also possesses the "pain" power from the Mr. T engram.
Known Weaknesses: Highly sensitive to criticism; an inability to control his many powers; a fear of airplanes and flying (from the Mr. T engram); chaotic timing (his powers often do not work as intended nor against the correct target); black rage (the flip side of righteous anger); and a desire to sleep with other people's wives (as revealed by the Telegraph newspaper from the U.K.)
Profile and Analysis: Barack Obama
Powers and Abilities: Obama is still learning about and perfecting his powers. Therefore, new abilities may appear when he is under attack. To date, Obama has shown evidence of the following powers and abilities: mental dexterity; powerful oration; the "change" and "hope" powers (audience members and young people--in particular women--will follow his lead and be temporarily enchanted and mesmerized by his speech and presence); the ability to throw fireballs and lay hands (which incapacitates his opponents) ; irresistible momentum; double consciousness; the power of Obama Girl; resistance to attacks from the undead and the elderly; endurance and healing factor (to resist attacks by opponents).
Known Weaknesses: Too trusting of friends and "allies"; vulnerable to attacks from the white working class and poor white trash; "elitism" and intelligence make him unable to understand "illogical" attacks and posturing from his enemies; experiences power drain in certain geographic areas, i.e. Pennsytucky and the Rust Belt (it could be the minerals in the ground or how the air in these regions filters the sunlight).
Profile and Analysis: Hillary Clinton
Powers and Abilities: Hillary is a dangerous and powerful foe--we do not yet know if she is working with the Greater Opposition Party against Obama in an alliance of convenience, or if she is operating alone. Be warned, she has perfected her abilities through decades of practice. Known powers include: unlimited resources and money; feminist rage and white female entitlement (this gives her instant control over women in the National Organization of Women and self-described feminists); steel determination and iron will; the ability to control the elderly and undead (as seen in her victories in Indiana and Pennsylvania); down home folksiness and working class hero transformation (this power gives her great influence, although not absolute control over white people with High School educations or less); and force lightening (she channels the dark side of the Force).
Known Weaknesses: Bill Clinton distraction (he is a random element that works both for and against his wife's interests); two-faced (her real intentions appear at inconvenient moments and against her will); feminists of color (she has no control over them and finds these women very upsetting); female victimhood (this makes her powers fluctuate over time and distracts her concentration); myopia and tunnel vision (once focused on a goal she is unable to shift attention or respond appropriately to new threats).
Threat Matrix and Conclusion: In battle, these three combatants will likely destroy each other. Our intelligence analysts are hinting that this may be the actual goal of the Wright doppelganger and Operation Crabs in a Barrel: to create a situation where Obama and Clinton either annihilate one another and/or following combat are too weak to continue forward. This is a version of the "two men enter, one man leaves strategy" as advocated by Tina Turner). Ultimately, our intelligence analysts have concluded that the only victor in this battle is --
Profile and Analysis: John McCain
Powers and Abilities: McCain is one of the most dangerous foes we have ever faced. Throughout his life he has demonstrated an uncanny ability to survive peril and death--often through sheer will-power and a commitment to his own personal code of honor. Personal combat with McCain should not be initiated by a field agent. Moreover, victory over McCain will require the assistance of multiple agents working in concert with the support of the American people. Known powers include: Lazarus energy (he resurrects himself upon death); intelligence and cunning; power drain (he demonstrated this when he unexpectedly hugged President Bush and inhaled Bush's life energy); unlimited resources; extreme strength and will-power; the army of Independents (willing to follow his lead and die on command); adamantium skeleton; crushing anger and wrath (he draws on his anger from his imprisonment some decades ago in order to project a crushing force-field); inevitability; and stealth (he is capable of great patience and of waiting for the exact moment to strike--thus making himself almost invisible). His most powerful ability is the Mumm-Ra transformation where he becomes extremely powerful and almost indestructible:
Known Weaknesses: Vulnerable to swift boat style attacks; Reverend Hagee's presence or the mere mention of his name temporarily saps McCain's powers; the power he draws from older voters weakens over time as they die off and are replaced by younger voters; beholden to radical elements in the Greater Opposition Party who may question his abilities or betray him at the last moment; and a code of honor (this empowers him, but may also limit his actions).
Conclusion and Recommendations: We need to continue to observe all the players in this scenario. As the campaign continues, I will update the council on Operation Crabs in a Barrel. I predict that the true intentions of the GOP will become immediately clear in the short-term. I am worried however, that in November, Obama will be so weakened that a McCain victory may well be a certainty. As always, we are planning vigorously for that contingency. I ultimately suggest that all field agents should be given maximum authority to act in whatever ways they deem necessary in order to prevent a McCain victory.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Chauncey DeVega Says: Reverend Wright Investigative Report Number 1--Preliminary Report, Infiltration, and Findings
From: Chauncey DeVega, field operative
Re: Initial Report on Reverend Wright and Operation Crabs in a Barrel
I have recently returned from my assignment and will be completing a comprehensive report for our permanent files. In short, and as expected, my recent mission has confirmed our worst fears. Reverend Wright was in fact replaced by a duplicate at a previous time, a time which heretofore remains undetermined. I am working with forensics and our remote viewing teams to generate a time line for the scenario. I am also concerned that Reverend Wright may be one of many key figures that have been replaced by our enemies. The mission summary follows.
Per standard operating procedure, I infiltrated the target area via High Altitude Low Opening drop. My movement to the rendezvous point was uneventful and I made quick contact with our informant. Upon contact, I confirmed the agent's identity and reviewed all the materials and intelligence provided by said contact. On face value, these documents confirmed our initial suspicions. As outlined by the mission plan, I exercised my authority to infiltrate the compound in order to visually confirm the intelligence and to gather further hard evidence.
Our operative directed me to an access point and I entered the facility. Luckily, the auxiliary computer servers and network interfaces were lightly guarded, and I only had to dispatch three tangos upon entry. Using the tech provided by our contacts at DARPA (tell them thanks for me), I quickly accessed the protected files on the server and copied them to my flash drive. I exfiltrated the target area and met with the Pave Low at the designated landing zone. I have begun reviewing the files, and what follows are the preliminary details of the operational plan for (what our enemies have labeled) Operation: Crabs in a Barrel.
Wright has in fact been replaced with a duplicate. Based on the data, we are unsure if the doppelganger is an exact biological copy or if it is a cybernetic device. Based on the advancement of our enemy's technology, it may in fact be a person who has 1) been altered to have Reverend Wright's appearance and 2) has had the mental engrams of the original Wright implanted in his mind with some modifications. It appears that our rivals have successfully combined three personality types in the Wright duplicate. As you know, this process (what was once called "brainwashing") was pioneered by the Nazis, with help from the American eugenics movement(s), in the 1930s and 1940s. SPECTRE had some success with this technique during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s Cobra gave us fits with their efforts to combine cloning with mental conditioning and brainwashing (who can forget that Serpentor debacle?). It seems that the Greater Opposition Party (GOP) has taken this Cobra technology and moved it one step forward. What follows are the 3 personalities which have been identified in the Wright duplicate. These inferences are based on the Wright copy's body language and its parallels with the personality files in our databases.
Personality Element 1: Thor, the God of Thunder
Notice how Wright's pose during the NAACP speech mirrors the Norse God, Thor. Wright's subconscious believes he still has both Thor's hammer, as well as his godlike powers to control the elements. I also suspect that the Thor personality type, and this is only a hypothesis, may give the Wright duplicate powers which many may consider to be "other-worldly" or "supernatural."
Personality Element 2: The Black Minstrel
In keeping with the ironic turns of events brought about by Operation: Crabs in a Barrel, the Wright duplicate includes a minstrel as part of the psychological profile. Make note of the sad face and eyes. The Wright duplicate, in his dancing and posing during the NAACP meeting and at the National Press Club, was performing in a manner dictated by the engrams of the minstrel personality implant.
Personality Element 3: Mr. T
This is the final element in the Wright doppelganger's personality matrix. Mr. T is tough, resourceful, and smart. However, Mr. T is also highly sensitive, easily provoked, and has moments of irrationally. The Mr. T element in the Wright duplicate is likely the most explosive, yet remains simultaneously the most deft and adaptive. Our field agents will be apprised of the presence of a Mr. T in the personality matrix of the duplicate. Because the Mr. T element is so dangerous, all agents should exercise an appropriate level of caution if they are going to effect a capture of the Wright doppelganger.
We will continue to monitor Wright for evidence of further personality types. Generally, it is ill-advised to combine more than 3 elements in one matrix, however, given the GOP's level of sophistication they may have been able to add additional types. As you can see, these personality types when combined have made for a particularly dangerous foe. In my next report, I will compare the Wright duplicate's known abilities with those of his likely foes.
General, and off the record, the GOP's plan shows a shocking level of sophistication. Historically, our foes are clumsy and heavy-handed (e.g. Willie Horton; Clarence Thomas; Fox News), but this is some of their best work since the MLK sex tapes and their assassination of Malcolm. I do worry that regardless of what comes to pass in the Indiana and North Carolina primaries that Operation: Crabs in a Barrel is in its first stages. Also, please tell Agent 36 that her cultivation of the contact within the GOP was exceptional. It rivals her work in addicting Rush Limbaugh to Oxycontin back in the 1990s. I am recommending Agent 36 for a distinguished service commendation for her role in this operation.
Chauncey DeVega Says: Reverend Wright Investigative Report Number 0--Explaining My Whereabouts Last Week
Last week, I was absent with good cause. I have been deep cover on a black ops mission in pursuit of evidence to support my intuition that Reverend Wright has been replaced by a duplicate.
It seems that while undercover, my instinct that Wright is a doppelganger was buttressed by his performances at the National Press Club and before the NAACP.
I am in the process of being debriefed by the League of Negro Elders and will make an initial report tomorrow. I have enjoyed being incognegro for a week, but in the future, I will leave this type of dangerous work to younger operatives (I did this work in the 90's and have since moved on):
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I know that White History Month has passed, and I wanted to get this one as a Friday Five, but I wasn't able to (please, no CP Time jokes).
1.) Birth of a Nation
Most white folks abhor the racist stereotypes and plot of D.W. Griffith’s “masterpiece.” What makes this a White movie isn’t the racism, it’s the selective detachment of its fans: the ability to set aside their disdain for the film’s reprehensible content while appreciating its stylistic appeal and praising
2.) Gone With the Wind
The softer side of Birth of a Nation. Confederate apologist melodrama. Filled with rank stereotypes about happy darkies. What more could you want?
The ultimate white male fantasy. Its moral is that white people’s hard work and grit can allow them to triumph over physically gifted, but undisciplined, flashy, loudmouthed black people. This is still played out in every major sport today. Peep the dominant narrative of the recent Floyd Mayweather/Ricky Hatton fight. Hoosiers also fits into this category.
4.) Forrest Gump
This one isn’t as obvious as Rocky. Forrest Gump, as some scholars have argued, struck a chord with so many, because its vision of History is
Contains two of White people’s favorite things: 1950s nostalgia (no black people) and jazz hands.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I’m outraged by his comments…I'm saddened by the spectacle...That's enough...…The man I saw today is not the man I knew...
These, paraphrased words from Obama today, in response to Reverend Jeremiah Wright's brilliant, hilarious, captivating, and--quite frankly--on fucking point performances on his recent media tour. Moyers was OK, but the Press Corps and the NAACP address were incredible, for real. He threw up the damn Q in the middle of a press conference!!!! I don't fuck with Black Greeks, but damn, that's black.
I usually love every kind of irony, but the irony brought about by Obama’s denunciation of Wright doesn't bring me much joy. Obama’s words of outrage describe exactly how I feel about Obama at this moment.
I officially rescind my support for Brother Barack, and throw it behind…no one. I don’t care that Obama is tap-dancing for
TAN said that in his Philly race speech, Obama threw on the do-rag; after today, it’s clear that Obama has not only ripped off that do-rag, he's replaced it with a blonde wig. It’s not his fault, really. From day one, I knew that, before accepting him, the white media would either need to blacken him up, or stamp out any modicum of blackness from him. They can only comprehend black people on their own terms: “not like the others” or nigger. In this campaign, they’ve done both.
I never thought that they’d allow Obama to win the nomination (still don’t, actually), but I thought that they’d extend him a little more leeway than they would an “authentic” African American. I feel like a damn fool for believing that.
These are the same people see nothing wrong with demanding that Obama appease their asinine fears that he will bring Al Sharpton, Farrakhan, and Reverend Wright into the White House with him, promptly nuke Israel, and mandate reparations. These are the same people who will praise Obama’s moderate stance and applaud his “Sistah Souljah moment” for a couple of weeks (just wait until they ask him how he could have been mistaken about Wright’s true feelings for two decades).
These are the same people who have next to nothing to say about white presidential candidates’ associations with
Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and John Hagee.
Sure, it took a “not really black” black for them to embrace, but when push came to shove, their hackneyed racist narrative won out: black people are ungrateful, unpatriotic, exotic, abnormal, angry, stupid.
And it must have hurt Barack to stomp on his clinging mentor’s knuckles, while getting on his knees and licking
I can, however, tell you this: Reverend Wright is my new favorite black man. Take away the crazy AIDS conspiracy theory shit, the bunkum about black vs. white learning styles, and the notion that we’re African, and what do you have: an unforgivably black man, a man who speaks the truths that white America never wants to hear, a man who is unwilling to conform to white norms--norms that are, when considered objectively, patently ridiculous. A truth teller derided as a charlatan and hatemonger. Wright treated the Press Corps with the mockery and contempt they deserve, and he's called a nutjob. We live in a real life racial Twilight Zone (or Bizarro World for the geeks among us--Chauncey, I’m looking at you).
I'm not a religious man, so it wouldn't make sense for me to echo Wright's “God Damn America” speech. Let me, however, offer a less controversial substitute:
Fuck the inbred rednecks who think Obama’s secretly Muslim. Fuck the anti-intellectual knuckle-draggers who see post-graduate education as a detriment. Fuck the mouth-breathers who elect people just because they look, act, and mangle language just like a regular American! Fuck the corporate media, the multimillionaire talking heads who toss about accusations of elitism while polluting the news (the fucking news!) with endless high school gossip pap and insignificant bullshit about lapel jewelry. Fuck the white liberals, who, through their participation in this Reverend Wright sham, reveal their duplicitous nature and their steadfast commitment to white privilege. Fuck the cowardly black pundits who are too scared to say what they know: that Reverend Wright is only divisive and outrageous to Panglossian fools who refuse to deal with history and current reality. In short, fuck this stupid, racist-ass country.
But…but, thank all of these people for proving Reverend Wright’s points. Now there's some irony I can appreciate.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The Sean Bell shooting and trial is a sad situation for all involved. It seems that Brother Sharpton is "going to shut down" NYC (if a bunch of crazies trying to get to their God on 9-11 couldn't shut down my favorite city, I doubt Sharpton will come close). The family is dismayed. Some in the public are confused. Many people of all stripes and hues are supportive of the police and their difficult job. The Feds are going to get involved, etc. etc. etc. My exhaustion and disinterest are already apparent. Frankly, I will only offer a few thoughts on the case. I know some of you will be upset, and please share your thoughts and anger, but I have to be honest.
1. All parties involved are knuckleheads (see People's Exhibit number one to the left--Bell's friend posing with money donated to the survivors following the incident) and this case was a mess to begin with. I was going to give a shit-huffer award for this case, but because a life was taken, I deferred (I do have some taste!). As I have told folks before, I don't much like cops and I don't much like felons. Which leads to points two and three...
2. In my experience most cops were either A) the bully in high school or B) the kid who was picked on. Neither are folks you want to trust with petty power and the responsibility to make life and death decisions. In my opinion, many cops live to play the hero and the cowboy. When they get the chance to act out the fantasy they will do it, however ill-advised:
3. Sean Bell's death is unfortunate and it didn't need to happen. That having been said, he does not need to be valorized or made a hero. Bell is not a martyr and he wasn't assassinated:
As I said in a previous post in regards to those Jena Six fools, black "leadership" needs to be more careful about the causes they choose to fight for, and how they spend political currency. Black pundits should also critically reflect on how they position themselves relative to cases such as these. There are many innocent and honest people of color, and poor folk of all colors, being harassed and abused by the police--let's spend our energy defending their rights. It must be said that Bell's companions (and from what I have read, Bell himself) were felons. Yes, I know it is a "right of passage" for young black men to get arrested and "the system" is unavoidable (insert finger in mouth and induce vomiting). Yes, it shouldn't matter if you are a "good person" or not in terms of how the police make judgments, but this variable can't be ignored. Why? Because in general, criminality speaks to character and to poor decision-making. Which leads to point four...
4. Trust, Bell's friend did brag about having a gun, and he likely made a flippant comment about using it while in the strip club. Brothers, drugs, naked ladies, testosterone, and police don't mix. Moral of the story: we need to have a serious conversation within the black community about gun play and how for some black men (and women--because they are part of this too) black masculinity is inseparably tied to violence. This is life and death business and too many of our young men are getting killed behind this stupidity.
5. This incident speaks to how police are currently trained. Following these incidents I am always surprised by how the public fixates with great surprise on the number of rounds fired by the police. Apparently, the public isn't widely aware that many police are now being trained by former members of the Special Forces and private security companies (mercenaries). You see, there was lots of money and surplus equipment floating around after the Cold War. And with 9-11, additional resources were thrown into militarizing the police (even small town America needs a SWAT team). Like the military, police are conditioned and trained to shoot in concert with one another (the phrase when this runs training runs amok is ironically called "sympathetic shooting"). This training explains why you rarely hear of just one officer firing his or her weapon--if one fires they all instinctively unload on the target until the target is neutralized, they are out of ammo, or they decide to reload.
6. In terms of police training, in my reading of the case there needs to be more emphasis on fire discipline and fire control--police need to be better trained at controlling their impulses and making the actual life and death decision of when to discharge their weapons. When you have a group of police surrounding a vehicle and shooting at all directions you have a high chance of cross-fire (i.e. shooting each other) and of hitting innocent people (bullets did go into the walls and windows of neighboring homes). All around bad stuff.
7. My verdict. The cops should have gotten off because the prosecution didn't prove their case. As this observer points out, Bell's witnesses were neither convincing or sympathetic. The police should be fired because they violated police procedures--like it or not, a car isn't generally considered a deadly weapon in most instances. The public needs to re-examine how our "peace officers" are trained and how they are armed. Also, there need to be independent offices and special prosecutors appointed whose only job is to deal with police misconduct. There has to be accountability. Finally, we, we meaning black folk, black leadership, and our interested allies, need to have a real talk with our young men about manhood, violence, common sense, and the real consequences of poor decision making. As a community, we need to sit down with these baby boys and have a real talk about "guns and butter", personal responsibility, and manhood:
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Some people are more trouble than they are worth. Apparently, Reverend Wright is going to appear on PBS Friday and speak at the National Press Club next week. It seems that our erstwhile ally is rapidly becoming one of those liabilities. Following Pennsylvania, do we really need another dose of the Wright replay reel on Fox News, CNN, et al? I wonder, is the good reverend a Manchurian Candidate? Was the original Reverend Wright kidnapped at some point and then replaced by this duplicate? Is he actually a Manchurian candidate who has been programmed by the McCain faction and the GOP to destroy Obama? Obama, please send some of your "fixers" to speak to Reverend Wright and tell him to promptly shut the hell up and take a well deserved, year long, vacation:
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I offer no clear answers. Accordingly, I must adhere to Occam's razor in my thoughts on Obama's defeat: when in doubt the simplest explanation is quite likely the correct one. The answer: a great many white people are not prepared to vote for a black man for president. Yes, issues matter. Yes, the candidates' personalities and the framing of the campaign impact vote choice. And no, I am not making a reductionist argument that the white bogeyman of racism caused Obama Pennsylvania.
What I am suggesting is that Obama's comment about the bitterness in these white communities, and this comment's reception by many in "Pennsytucky"--those semi-rural, rust belt working class white people--spoke to a different truth, and one not captured in the rush to explain away (or in some instances support) Obama's observation that religion, class alienation, and politics are knotted together.
This truth is found in memory, how people choose to imagine themselves and how they relate to their communities and nation. Obama, spoke to a truth in experience that he undoubtedly has felt as a black man traveling through Red States and the rust belt, a feeling that these white working class and poor people do not like him, do not trust him, and that there is a real racial animosity to be found towards people of color in these communities (for example: sundown towns, or as folks used to say, those towns where they won't sell you a house, rent you an apartment, where you better not stop to eat or use the toilet, and where you best be out of town by sundown). Likely, Obama, as an educated man, an activist, attorney, and student of history must have had moments where he asked himself, "the problems of poor white people and poor black and brown people are the same, but why can't we work together?" Be it the rust-belt or deindustrialized inner city communities, we are both suffering and hurting, where is the sense of shared fate?"
Ultimately, where is that sense of Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp populism, this feeling that we are all in this together?
Unfortunately, the white working class, and the white poor are not rubes, they have not been tricked or duped by an insincere Right-wing populism. Yes, many liberals and moderates desperately want to believe that false consciousness and political trickery explains this group's consistent choice of race over class. Yes, many activists are hopeful that if they can just reach out to these disenfranchised white people, and open their eyes to the "truth," then the Republican party's strangle hold on guns, god, and culture will be broken. Some more hopeful souls are emboldened by Obama's victories in predominantly white states in the rural West, an ironic fact of political life where it now appears that to the degree that there are fewer blacks in a State, then some white voters are more likely to support a black candidate (apparently, it seems that living in close proximity to those who are racially different actually breeds more distrust, and sense of competition, rather than less).
Returning once more to memory and choice. Many of those whites who felt alienated from Obama and drawn to Hillary, angered by Obama's assertion that they are bitter or unsophisticated, share a different collective memory--this is their country. Outsiders have taken their opportunities. And the State, the White State, owes them a particular debt and obligation. Moreover, and what is Obama's central miscalculation, is the degree to which the many whites in the rust belt (and elsewhere) actively choose race over class. It is a choice. It is a calculation. They know what they do.
As W.E.B. DuBois, great philosopher and observer of American life once observed, whiteness pays a psychological wage--and many white working class and blue collar voters are gambling that these wages of whiteness will continue to accrue to their children and to their tribe. Perhaps, these Reagan Democrats, the white working class, the blue collar, and the white poor have a deep intuition of how the forces of globalization have "robbed" them of certain opportunities. But simultaneously, on a visceral level, the part of their psyche which smiles at the memory of a Norman Rockwellesque America (this place that never really existed) trusts that the system will right itself. Somehow, in their hopes, and in their dreams, "we" can return to the good old days. That time when white people, people like them, were exclusively at the center of American public life:
And no, many of these white rust belt voters are not willing to support a black man for president. More pointedly, these white voters will not trust Obama to be a steward for their White hopes and dreams.
I am going to post a longer and more extensive post tomorrow on the Obama defeat in Pennsylvania, but for now I have an immediate reaction. First, I am not surprised that Obama lost the state--hell he wasn't surprised either. Second, yes, I am pissed at Hillary--Miss Ann as I refer to her--who is going to destroy the Democratic Party in order to get herself the nomination (more on this Wednesday).
Now, and recently, it seems that Obama watchers have been obsessed with interpreting every bit of his body language. Apparently, Obama was giving the finger to Hillary last week--yes, the blogosphere was offering this interpretation of a passing gesture. Also, Obama was getting the dirt off his shoulder following the Hillary-ABC butt whoopin' he received during the debate. It seems he was signifying some type of affinity to the "hip hop generation." Suspect grouping, cohort, and category. But, bro' Bama checked a good song:
But, Hova aka Jay-Z is the Rosetta Stone to understanding Obama's defeat and the recent dynamics surrounding the presidential campaign.
Think about it, the upswing in Obama's campaign, the "si se puede" moments, the we can succeed and achieve mantras, the Obama moment is infectious and resembles the positive energy expressed by Hova in Roc Boys (yes, I linked this before and I still love the video):
Today, Obama lost, and Hillary schooled old boy in her brand of down and dirty politics. This was Hillary saying, "Obama I got lots of problems but I am going to fight it out, and you Senor Obama are the least of them." Jay-Z, 99 Problems, check and mate:
Obama shook a little, but reflecting on this not surprising moment, says: "hmmm clearly, the Democrats, Hillary, and Billy Bob aren't my peeps, but you know what? my folks got my back! The Clintons clearly aren't my friends, and they surely are my foes." Translation: Jay-Z's Friend or Foe, explains how Obama is gonna now have to get gully with the Clintons if he wants to win (about time):
Now, Obama is going to have to point out the obvious that Hillary and Billy Bob are friends of power--and not the broader interests of the Democratic Party (or their supporters) --perhaps Obama should start putting "Money, Cash, and Hoes" on blast in his new commercials to describe what 4 more years of the Clintons will likely bring to the White House:
From one respectable negro to another, bro' Bama keep the hustle on cause, we, meaning you and us, are going to be alright:
Because you know it's a hard knock life...