I know who is going to win the next election. Come the day after the elections in November, the next president of the United States is going to be….a millionaire male politician! And after the inauguration in January, in February your life is probably not going to be any different. If it does, it won’t be because of the ceremony in Washington the day before. That’s elections for you. In the immediate sense they don’t change anything. But in the long run, they change everything! (more…)
I am not one of those Black people that see a racial undertone to everything happening in America vis-a-vis a person of color. Far from it. It may be the African in me, but I believe when something goes wrong, the first place anybody needs look is in a mirror. The hand of racism is not as big as it is made out to be. It has never been. Yes, it has been bigger, a lot bigger; but its shadow has always been bigger than the actual.
Lately however, listening to comments from people on the right, I got to thinking: Has some people found a new way to call a Black president, nigger and do so openly? I think so. (more…)
I was listening to Kerri Miller on NPR the other day. They were talking about the Republicans’ eminent takeover of congress, and how the American public had turned against President Obama and the Democrats’ agenda. When one of the guests commented that in fact the administration has done well, at least not as bad as viewed by many Americans, Kerri Miller added that it was sort of ironic that for a candidate that was lauded (rightfully so) for his speech making abilities, president Obama has had a failure in communication.
That had me thinking.
Does being a great public speaker make one a great communicator? (more…)
How long has it been since a British Petroleum (BP) pen-pusher showed up on an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico? How long since he pushed his untrained ideas on the technicians on the rig? How long since the technicians relented and gave in to his demands? How long since the first explosion? How long since 11 went missing (aka dead)? How long since the huge plume of smoke shut to the heavens? How long since the second explosion? How long since the rig sank to the bottom of the ocean? How long since the robots were dispatched, since they found two “small” leaks (as oppose to spills)? How long since 1,000 barrels a day became 5,000 became 20,000 barrels a day? How long since the current set its sight on the gulf coast—New Orleans, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, maybe Texas. Could Mexico be next? The Caribbean nations? How long since it finds its way to the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian, the Arctic, Antarctic, blanket the world? I’m going off the deep end? Well, the pipe is still “leaking”, spewing oil into the ocean, and still all we have are estimates. And if we have learned anything so far, when it comes to this spill, estimates are like you-know-what, everybody has one. And most are unreliable.
“Rosa Park sat so Dr. King could walk…Dr. King walked so Obama could run…Obama is running so our children can fly.”
“They didn’t want to give us 40 acres and a mule so dammit we will take 50 states and a white house!”
“They have a sign up sheet for volunteers to help Bush pack his shit and get the fuck out on November 5th. I put us down for the 3-8 shift.” (more…)
To White America
Yes, there is still racism in America. Just because you voted for Obama doesn’t mean you get a pass on checking yourself. You could still harbor prejudice against people not your skin color. You still can’t use the N-word. Not “nigga”, definitely not “nigger”. If you are singing a song and come across it, skip right over it. The cops still pull Black people over for “Driving While Black”. People of color still get discriminated against. The reason that Black guy is down is not necessarily because he refuses to apply himself. Going forward, when you see a successful Black person, don’t say, “Obama made that happen”. You may not be racist but your neighbor could be. Hell your dad could be. You may not see it, but the system you work for could still be a haven for institutional racism. Yes, White privilege is still a reality. Otherwise Obama’s victory would not be historic. No, Black people can’t be racist. Minorities may be the new majority, but Whites still rule the board room, the court room, the police station, the country club, etc. November 4th doesn’t invalidate Affirmative Action. I think there is less and less need for it, but unfortunately, we may not yet be living in a completely color/gender blind nation. Until we can be certain of this, there will always be a need for something like Affirmative Action. Yes, you can hate a Black person and not be a racist. If that good for nothing sonofayouknowwhat accuses you of being racist, it’s okay to laugh to their face. Pat yourself in the back; you went into that booth on the 4th, dug deep within yourself and rose above the box society had you caged in. The wheel is in motion, together we can start the healing. (more…)
It’s been some 17 years since I came to this country. Almost immediately after landing I realized for the first time I was black. Not because the lights were brighter (even if they were), not because the mirrors were clearer, not because all of a sudden I developed a RGB-256 sight. Because I looked in the eyes of people I interacted with and saw what they saw covering my body. I was black and lazy, black and poor, black and violent, black and less intelligent, less motivated, less trust worthy, less of everything that could be good in a man, and more of all that should be loathed, feared and suspected.
Over the years, as they got to know me, I thought I saw the cataract peeling from their eyes. But I was not sure. When I moved to Minnesota, I saw smiles, but I was never too sure whether they were nice or just Minnesota.
All this changed one November 4th evening in 2008. (more…)