Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pick up my Herald Sun Columns

Be sure to read my column in the Durham Herald Sun. Every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. I tackle the issues that will have you talking all weekend.

My latest article

Monday, June 18, 2018

Call for Blacks to Boycott Independence Day

Citing the rise of acts of racism and the continuation police brutality and shootings of African Americans in the Trump Era, a NC minister has launched the "4th of July Boycott Against Racism and White Supremacy."

“Our ancestors weren’t free in 1776 and we are not free today…”

Minister Paul Scott of Durham NC is asking African Americans not to celebrate the 4th of July this year to protest the injustices that African Americans are experiencing in the Trump Era. Pointing at incidents such as Starbucks, Scott argues that since the election of Donald Trump, racists acts are becoming more commonplace in America. He is asking that African Americans don’t attend 4th of July events or purchase merchandise such as firecrackers.

Scott argues that boycotting Independence Day will send a strong message to America that they will not tolerate injustice in the same manner of NFL players not standing for the national anthem.

“It’s not fair to expect football players to sacrifice millions of dollars if we are not willing to give up fireworks and franks for one day, says Scott.

Scott was recently featured in a NY times article regarding the gentrification of Durham NC. He can be reached at (919) 972=8305 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com

Monday, April 2, 2018

Dirty Dancing With the Developers

Dirty Dancing with the Developers:

Makin’ Dollars or Manifest Destiny ?

                                              Paul Scott

Dirty Dancing with the Developers:

Makin’ Dollars or Manifest Destiny ?

                             Paul Scott

“If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you..."
                        Joaquin Phoenix from 8mm       

When the owner of Dick Dastardly Development first came to town  he was met with hisses and boos by politicians and their constituents who cried foul at the mere thought of citizens in their
city being displaced. But when he promised to build a much needed, affordable combination golf course and ski lodge in the hood, the boos quickly turned to cheers and he was awarded the key to the city….

One of the most difficult issues facing the Bull City in 2018 is gentrification. After all, who doesn’t want their modest southern town transformed into a more ritzy area like downtown Manhattan. Well, it depends on who you ask, those who stand to make a load of money from the transformation or those who may lose their be- ever -so -humble homes.

The well off and the poor see gentrification through different lenses. As the old saying goes “whether the glass is half empty or half full depends on who’s a-drinkin’ and who’s a-pourin’.”

Even those who, vehemently,  oppose the process have different rationales for doing so. If you are middle class ,displacement means the old oak tree with your childhood sweetheart’s name carved in it might get chopped down. But for the poor, it is the uncertainty of not knowing where your family may end up.

The perception of neighborhood renewal is, also,  packed with historical baggage.

There was a time in this country when the powerful  could “ buy” Manhattan for 24 dollars worth of beads. Or in some cases just outright take whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it in the name of progress. As much as we hate to admit it, terms like “eminent domain”  and “manifest destiny” are as American as apple pie.

If you come from a wealthy family who have prospered from the American dream , urban renewal just comes with the territory.  But what about the descendant of Africans who had their land stolen by colonizers. Or Native Americans  and Mexican Americans whose ancestors were removed from their soil ? Not to mention that poor white American of Appalachia who’s great grandfather's farm is now a coal mine.

So, whether you see someone as a shrewd  business tycoon or a neo-colonizer is a matter of opinion.

Right now, many Durham citizens, at least in theory, oppose gentrification. Nobody wants to go on record cosigning  somebody’s grandma getting kicked out on the street.  But people are fickle and public outrage is a fleeting moment soon forgotten. Especially, when it’s so easy to catch amnesia when you get hit upside the head with a stack of dollar bills. Or when  some tough guys in dark Ray-Bans  drag  you in a back room and make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Let’s keep it really real.  In a capitalist society, money talks and there is a $6,000 degree of separation between anger and acquiescence.

The guys who come struttin’ in to City Hall meetings with Brooks Brothers suits and penny loafers sleep good at night after donating a couple of grand to an affordable housing fund or to the local schools system.

So, even though I may see developers as ruthless Snidely Whiplash-type villains with black top hats and stringy mustaches who kick puppies when nobody’s  looking, the general public is easily swayed by even the cheesiest PR campaign.

Personally. I’ve always rooted for the underdog and patterned myself after the patron saint of the lost cause,  so excuse me for being more skeptical than the, eternally,  optimistic who believe that all's well that ends well.

Even some Durham leaders seem to believe that ,perhaps, there is a silver lining in this rapidly expanding cloud of doom and despair.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer but there are no happy ending here. Compassionate Capitalism is an oxymoron and someone is gonna be left out in the cold come next winter.

Sometimes there is no middle ground. It’s just the rich once again stickin’ it to the poor.

But you will still have some who are lost  in Dave Mason’s 70’s AM playlist purgatory where “there ain’t no good guys.  There ain’t no bad guys. There’s just you and me and we just disagree.”

If only it was that simple…

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Thank you to Dr. Robinson and NCCU for having me lecture on Hip Hop and Masculinity last week.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Choice FM Interview

Big shout out to Dr. Rob and Choice FM for having me on last Saturday.

Listen Below


Friday, March 2, 2018

Is Downtown Durham too White ?

Starting March 3rd , my column will run in the Durham Herald Sun every 1st and 3rd Saturday. 

My latest column :

My Downtown Durham Dilemma