Wednesday, December 31, 2008
But naw, it was just the networks warning me that as of midnight 18 channels could be missin' from my cable box when I wake up in the morning if I don't rush to the phone, immediately and call Time Warner Cable and tell them....
Well, the alert really didn't tell me what to tell them but anyway, if I don't do something soon, something wicked this way comes!
The alert listed a whole bunch of Viacom stations that will disappear like Cinderella's coach at the stroke of twelve if I don't take drastic action.
Spike, MTV, Comedy Central...the list goes on...
Now, I thought to myself what does this mean in terms of quality African American programming ?
Let's see...There are really no more quality Hip Hop videos on MTV and I haven't seen The Boondocks on Comedy Central in a while...
So the answer to the question of "what this means to black folks, like me..."
Absolutely, nuthin' !
Maybe, if they removed some of these channels it would give more of our children time to engage in the lost past time of reading a book. Or at least maybe it will make room for a TV network with some quality black programming...
So, on behalf of the Black community I release the following statement to the cable networks...
"Crash and Burn!"
Hip Hop Song of the Year
Although many Hip Hop Headz are debating who had the hottest CD of 2008, Lil Wayne or T-Pain, without a doubt the hottest CD on the streets, right now, is the "We Hate Hater America" joint by Paul "MC Feet Stankin'" Shankin, which features the slammin' release "Barack the Magic Negro." The single was originally released first by DJ "Bum Rush" Limbaugh earlier this year.
Oh, you missed the debut?
That's right, you were probably too busy listening to Lil Weezy rap about getting "licked like a lollipop" every five minutes on "urban" radio stations. Or maybe you were too busy watching the nightly marathon of "House of Payne."
What makes "Barack the Magic Negro," so hot is that it's going to set the tone of the Right Wing "swagga" for next year as takin' shots at black folks via the First Family will be pretty much the norm after January 20th. (I'm just waiting for the P-Diddy remix to come out.)
Apparently, Republican Chip Saltsman liked the song so much that he thought it would make good stocking stuffers for his homies in the GOP.
See that's what happens when a culture becomes a mockery of itself. You give people "permission" to disrespect you and everyone who looks like you.
White folks finding humor in mocking black people is nothing new. You can look back at the early days of Hollywood and movies like "Birth of a Nation." And remember Al Jolson's "mammy" routines went over real big.
But as the Golden Rule of comedy says "the biggest joke that you can play on someone is to make them do it to themselves."
Now, I know the excuse. I've heard it many times before. Black folks tell jokes at their own expense to keep from crying.
That is also what some folks call "embedded self hatred."
When you become intoxicated with your own jokes you don't really have a leg to stand on when other folks want to get a chuckle in too.
I don't think that some black entertainers get the big picture that the images that they put out for laughs will be used for political fodder.
Let's just say, hypothetically, a black man is elected president of the United States. Can you really get mad at Conservatives for "dissing" him when you have been giving them top notch material for decades?
I can see it now. Some angry black dude calls in to the Rush Limbaugh Show to give ol' Rush a piece of his mind when Rush plays a snippet from the trailer of the upcoming "Medea Goes to Jail" movie.
Now, I don't mean to diss Tyler Perry but there is a reason why Wednesday night on WTBS has become "Watch Totally Black Satire" night. I just can't remember white corporations showing programs that dealt with serious subjects like "Roc" and "New York Undercover" that much love.
In 2009, maybe black entertainers need to take some time off and go on vacation for some personal "me" time and self reflection.
When Dave Chappelle and Chris Tucker went to Africa, they came back with whole new perspectives on life.
Maybe other black celebrities need to take a trip to the Mother Land, it seems to do wonders for one's self esteem. Could be there's something in the water. Or maybe the voices of the ancestors who went from building great empires to being forced to "tap dance for massa" are too, overwhelming to ignore.
I remember when Richard Pryor came back from Africa and proudly proclaimed that he would no longer use the "N" word.
In 2009, it's time to reevaluate what we consider entertainment. If not, the "Chips" and "Biffies" of the world will continue to get their jokes on at our expense.
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Ms. Mckinney has been a strong advocate for not only the rights of African people but the rights of all human beings who suffer under oppression.
Apparently, the yacht, the SS Dignity was attacked in international waters.
Of course, the Israeli Foreign ministry is saying that the collision was an accident.
Yeah, I guess accidents do happen.
Bombs are "accidentally" dropped on innocent civilians all of the time.
I guess it depends on who is telling the story and which side they favor in the conflict.
This is how the Associated Press is reporting the story.
Now, this is how the local media in Monroe LA is covering the story:
See the difference?
Also, it seems that Dillards has quite a history of being accused of racial profiling:
I'm not sayin' whether Bell is guilty or not.
One, I wasn't there. And two, I don't shop at Dillards, anyway. (Not enough Afrocentric Clothing.)
But I will say this. It does seem that the media jump all over stories when something bad happens to a black person who beats the system.
Remember Rodney King's legal troubles after the LA Rebellion?
Seems like the underlying message that white America gives black folks is:
"See, even when we lose, we win."
Monday, December 29, 2008
Obama and the Black Church
Every Sunday, if you go to any black church, you can bet the collection plate that at least once during the service the pastor will ask the eternal question, "Will you be ready when Jesus comes?" As an affirmation. the congregation will jump and shout, shedding tears of joy, as they anticipate the return of their Savior. However, if the Second Coming happens on January 20th during the same time as the Inauguration, a lot of black folks will have a tough decision to make...
Every since the improbable Obama campaign began to look like a sure thing, many African Americans have anticipated his election with an almost religious fervor. The fervor reached its climax, last November 4th , when news networks across the country showed black people behaving in manners more reminiscent of Pentecostal tent revivals than election celebrations.
Has the black church that has been waiting for "Jesus" for hundreds of years decided to settle for a black president, instead?
The problem of the delay of the Second Coming (the Perousia) has plagued the early church since the day after the Crucifixion. Since the Perousia was expected to happen within the lifetime of the early believers, as the years went by, it became harder for the church leaders to rationalize the delay for a people who were still suffering under Roman oppression.
The delay of Judgment Day has been been especially problematic for an African American community that has been crying to "Jesus" every since their ancestors were transported on the "Good Ship Jesus of Lubeck." For a people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, the election of Barack Obama seemed to be the answer to their prayers. For many, the Messiah had returned wearing a Brooks Brothers suit.
This is not the first time that African Americans have embraced a "black Messiah," as many leaders have come with the claim of being God or being personally chosen by God to lead black people out of bondage. Although, Obama is not making any messianic claims, himself, some black folks are expecting him to walk across the Potomac on January 20th instead of taking a limo.
The black church has always struggled with what WEB Dubious called a "double consciousness" but in this case it refers to having to be spiritual and secular, simultaneously. Unfortunately, many churches have been secular when they needed to be spiritual and spiritual when they needed to be secular.
Although, some church folks are genuinely devoted to their spirituality and adhere to the creed of being "in the world but not of the world," others have used spirituality as a crutch or an excuse not to carry forth the mission of the Messiah. While the messianic mission is to perform such tasks as feeding the hungry and clothing the naked , many churches pray for miracles when the miracles lie within their church bank accounts and the manpower in their own congregations.
One must remember that the great religious leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was opposed by some religious folks who believed that instead of fighting for Civil Rights, it was best to just pray and "let the Lord handle it."
For some churches, it is not until it is time to vote for a president that the otherwise "other worldly" theology becomes "worldly." This was especially evident during this year's election when "don't forget to vote" became the standard benediction at some churches.
To have a concerted effort to establish some spiritually based political education classes would be admirable but to just tell a congregation to vote without any follow up is leaving them, as the choir sings, "like a ship without a sail."
While most churches have the ability to establish community services such as mentoring programs for gang members, many pastors prefer to simply "lift them up in prayer" instead of coming up with intervention activities. Also, many are waiting for Obama to send a blessing down from the White House to do something that they could just as easily do for themselves.
Let us be clear. There is nothing holy about politics. It is perhaps the most corrupt operation in existence. Politics does not champion the "good" over "evil" but merely seeks to develop a working relationship between the two forces. Anyone who believes that the War of Armageddon will be won by merely entering a poll both is suffering from severe self-delusion.
A Democracy must cater to the whims of the majority, hoping merely that they will be persuaded to see that fulfilling the needs of the minority will ultimately serve their best interests. Also, Capitalism, by nature, needs to have a segment of the population poor and hungry in order to survive. This is hardly anything to base a religious hope upon but to seek spiritual guidance as to how to overcome the traps and snares that it produces.
So if we compromise our "religion" for political gain then we have given up the one thing that African people have always had going for us; our spirituality. It has been our faith in a higher power that has sustained us through the worst atrocities known to man.
As one looks around at the condition facing African people globally, as we enter into 2009, the answer to the question if we need divine intervention to deliver us from evil, should be self evident. We need to exercise our spirituality more so in 2009 than ever if we will ever be able to perform the "greater works" that Yeshua (misnamed Jesus) spoke about in the scriptures.
Do black folks still need a savior ?
Yes, we do and it starts with the image staring back at you in the mirror.
Paul Scott, "the TRUTH Minista, writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or email@example.com
Thursday, December 25, 2008
On that old school Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon, there is a scene where Charlie is complaining about the commercialization of Christmas. If the token black kid, "Franklin" had more of a speaking role, he probably would have made the same point about Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa, the African (American) festival that starts December 26 used to be strictly a holiday for black folks to get themselves reconnected to African based principles. The festival, which was started in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, has in recent years gone the way of Jazz, Rock and Roll and everything else that black folks have created and started to crossover, ie sellout.
Let me say from the jump. I like my Kwanzaa like I like my coffee; black!
Some things should be sacred. As a matter of full disclosure, I remember, I wasn't too happy when they integrated Soul Train, either. The music just wasn't as funky anymore.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with cultures admiring other cultures. But when white folks start "feeling" black culture, well, it starts losing its blackness. This is especially problematic when they start dictating the terms of black celebrations.
I don't see too many Irish people letting black folks tell them how to run St. Patrick's Day.
This is what is happening to Kwanzaa. It has gone from a time of black empowerment ,where issues affecting African people were discussed to a perpetual session of "Kwanzaa for Dummies."
Most times, the festival events are stuck in Kwanzaa 101 mode and are geared towards the handful of white folks in the audience and the bougie black folks who just discovered that they were black, yesterday. So, the moderator of the program never gets to the point of discussing the practical applications of the Kwanzaa principles (Nguza Saba.) but concentrates on teaching the new target audience how to pronounce Kujichagulia.
"Now, for the 100th time say it with me, koo- gee- cha- gu -lia"
Also, many people who put on these Kwanzaa programs have an innate fear of offending white folks, so many times the speakers are chosen from the "Safe Negro Temp Agency." Therefore, most Kwanzaa discussions rarely deal with anything deeper than explaining the meaning behind the Kwanzaa candles.
How many times have you heard a Kwanzaa speaker start his presentation with the obligatory, "Kwanzaa is not just for black people but for all people" and you said to yourself "what kind of Umoja Juice has he been sippin' on ?"
The reason why black folks allow our culture to be misdirected is simple.
Money, Cheddar, lucci (I'm not sure how to say it in Swahili)
I just can't see Denny's sponsoring a real, in depth workshop on African Ujamaa (collective economics.)
Every year, we are forced to chose between having a small event in the back of a black bookstore or having a "great extravaganza" at some large convention facility. We have to chose between an event where a few black folks scrape together a few dollars for an African pot lock dinner and presentations by a few local activist speakers or a corporate sponsored mega event where even the African drummers go home with a fat paycheck.
Fortunately, there are folks who have championed the cause for Kwanzaa purity like the S.T.E.P. organization in New Jersey.
The O'Jays once sang "Christmas just ain't Christmas and New Years just ain't New Years..."
Until we get our "Kujichagulia" act together, Kwanzaa just ain't Kwanzaa either.
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (919) 451-8283
Monday, December 22, 2008
But in this case, I'm not talking about the legacy of Michael Jordan, the basketball player but the legacy of the overpriced sneakers that bear his name.
Tomorrow marks the release of Air Jordan XX3. According to news stories people have been camping out for days in frigid temperatures just to pay $230 for a pair of sneakers, in the midst of a recession.
"Tonight on Channel 23 News we have a report that 200 people were laid off when the local shoe manufacturing plant shut down. And in our next segment, we are going to interview Bob, who is spending the night in this tent next to a homeless man, waiting to be the first in line to get the new Jordans..."
While some people are viewing the release of "Jordan XX3" as a cause for celebration, we must never forget that the tale of Air Jordans is one written in blood.
During the 80's and 90's, you would often see headlines about some poor kid who was killed because he rather had taken a bullet to the head than part with his beloved Jordans.
Even today, kids are being robbed over a sneaker that hasn't even come out yet.
Should the basketball great be held responsible for the children who were robbed or killed just to own a pair of shoes with his jersey number on them?
To some extent, yes. It is a shame that our children have to find a sense of self worth in a pair of shoes but that is the grim reality that we face.
Paying $230 for a pair of sneakers that it cost well under $23 dollars to make in 2008, during a recession doesn't make sense. However, paying $100 for sneakers 20 years ago didn't make sense either.
Could Michael Jordan have promoted a less expensive shoe?
He had the power to do so.
Maybe, a less expensive shoe would have saved at least one kid who literally died to be like Mike.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Devaluation of the Diva
My friend, Jae told me about an incident that she recently had on her way home from work. These two teenagers were having a loud public/ private discussion in the back of the bus, tellin' the interested and uninterested, alike, about everything from the graphic details of their sexual escapades to the best way to roll a blunt. What really concerned Jae was that these were not guys but teenage girls who turned her ,otherwise, quiet and uneventful ride home into a combination of the Jerry Springer Show and Def Comedy Jam. She could only sink down in her seat and think about how her generation had failed these two girls and wonder what will happen to these black women of the future.
I used to be clear about the definition of a diva. In the 60's, it was all about Diana Ross and the Supremes with the big wigs and expensive gowns. During the 70's the epitome of diva-ness was Patti Labelle or the Three Degrees. During the 80's and 90's you had Kylmaxx, En Vogue and Whitney Houston (before Bobby Brown).
But according to Beyonce's alter ago "Sasha Fierce" the 21st century definition of a diva is "a female version of a hustler."
Forget Jennifer Hudson, the new Dream Girl is a sista that will stick you for your jewelry and slit your throat while you sleep. Yeah, that's what I call a lady.
It is a case of historical romanticism to suggest that all black women have always carried themselves as perfect ladies. Uncle Jack can tell you stories about how "Mustang Sally" could out drink, out smoke and out gamble even the toughest Stagger Lee-type dude. But for the most part, black women have always carried themselves in a respectful manner; divas in every sense of the word. However, over the last 20 years, the value of "the diva" has been on a steady decline; rapidly accelerating, downhill, over the last decade.
At first unlady -like behavior by sistas was condemned by male rappers. I remember Run DMC chastising a "Dumb Girl" back in '86. And who can forget Brand Nubian's "Slow Down" when they dissed some sistas by saying " a 40 and a blunt, that's all they really want."
At the beginning of the 90's we saw the emergence of the female versions of NWA (Nigga's With Attitude), the now forgotten HWA (Hoez With Attitude) followed by BWP (Bytches With Problems.) Also, during this period, the behavior that was once condemned by the male rappers began to be glorified by artists such as Apache who proudly pleaded for a "Gangsta Bitch."
This period was followed by gangstress successors like Da Brat and Boss, whose "street cred" was busted when it was discovered by the Wall Street Journal that her tales of gangta-ism took great liberties with the truth.
Next came the age of the "Ride or Die" chicks, sistas who would do what ever it took to hold their men down whether legal or illegal. The movement was headed by rappers such as Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, rappers who built upon the "Bonnie and Clyde" theme that was established by Ice Cube's female protege, Yo Yo, a few years earlier.
While this "ride or die" theme may have been glorified on CD, the real life results of following this path resulted in dire consequences. One just has to look at the life of Kemba Smith, the former Hampton University student who ,beginning in 1994, served a six year prison sentence because of her involvement with a crack dealing boyfriend.
The legacy of the "gangstress" has been carried on courtesy of rappers such as Khia, Trina and Jacki O, who often compete for the crown of the "Baddest Bitch" in Hip Hop.
To blame the negative image of black women on today's entertainers may be unfair since one could argue that Millie Jackson and Vanity 6, women whom Slick Rick James would have called "the super freaks that you don't take home to mother," set the standard for female vulgarity, during the 70's and early 80's. However, regardless of the past, in real time, you now have teenage black girls in every mall in America with baggy jeans and bandannas tied around their heads, cussin' louder than the boys. Not to mention the fact that some of the once teenage fans of Lil Kim are now grown women with nothing more on their minds then gettin' their hair and nails "did" and hittin' the club on the weekend to find a "balla."
Maybe, we have spent too much time discussing the plight of black boys instead of paying attention to what was going on with our black girls. Perhaps their emulation of gangstas is a disparate cry for attention.
Suppose instead of just reading street novels, black women, of all ages, would start reading books like "Black Women in Antiquity," a collection of essays by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima that discusses the great black women of history. Maybe reading about the great queens of ancient Egypt and Ethiopia, whose beauty and intelligence were legends of mythical proportions will improve the self esteem of black women, young and old.
Some believe that it is too late to do anything to save this younger generation of black women. Some men believe that even older black women of today have been so influenced by pop culture that if you greet them with "Peace, Queen" they will only roll their eyes and suck their teeth. But if you yell, "Yo, Shawty," you might get a response.
However, there are still a lot of examples of real black women, sisters who carry themselves like beautiful black queens, true divas. And I'm not just talking about the soon to be first black first lady, Michelle Obama. I'm talking about that intelligent sister at work who has her stuff together. Or that caring wife and loving mother who has dedicated her life to raising a strong black family. How about that honor roll college student who is working her way through college by doing something other than working at a strip club ?
When I think of them, I realize that there is hope after all.
Even for the girls in the back of the bus.
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. To bring TRUTH Minista Paul Scott and the Black Culture Bail Out Tour to your city contact (919) 451-8283 or
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I did a Dukes of Hazzard U-turn in the middle in the street and made a beeline to the service attendant.
"Yo, dude. Ya'll forgot my sticker," I said thinking about the extra minutes I would have to waste on a Saturday morning.
The attendant informed me that as of Nov.1, NC doesn't require inspection decals, anymore.
"So, instead of forkin' over the 30 dollars I just paid, I could have just yanked my old sticker off?"
Nope. All your inspection info is now in a data base tied to your license plate.
The repair dude had to spend 15 minutes convincing me that he was not just covering up for an absent minded coworker.
Finally, he gave me a copy of the new regulation and told me to keep it in my glove compartment. (Just in case.)
My last question was, "Do the police know about this sudden change in regulation?"
He said that they "should" and I thanked him and drove off, slowly. Very, very slowly.
Most people will consider this real convenient. But for a black male, the implications are frightening. I mean, contrary to popular belief, racial profiling is still an issue.
Now, "5-0," will be running my license plates for no apparent reason, every time I venture into the section of town with the manicured lawns and the white picket fences. So much for probable cause.
I can see it now.
I'm rollin' down Country Club Road late one night and get pulled over by the cops.
"What seems to be the problem officer?"
"First, we noticed that you didn't have an inspection sticker and when we ran your tags...."
I rode home thinking about the "freed slaves" who had to carry around "freedom papers" back in the 1800's. Black folks have always had to have our paperwork in order.
Maybe, all those black history books that I read have made me paranoid.
But then I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed a police cruiser had been tailing me for the last couple of blocks...
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
What Was so Big about Biggie Smalls?
There's a new movie coming out, next month, called "Notorious." It's the story of a black kid who grew up on the mean city streets, became a Black Panther and dedicated his life to stopping police brutality and trying to organize street gangs into a revolutionary political movement. The story ends with him being murdered in his bed by the police as he slept next to his pregnant fiancee.
My bad, that was the Fred Hampton story. Wrong screenplay...
"Notorious" is about the life of a drug dealer turned rapper who released a CD, got into a beef with another rapper and was shot on the streets of LA while leaving an after party. The end.
If you ask any Hip Hop fan who are the greatest rappers of all time, dead or alive, he will, most likely, put Christopher "Notorious BIG" Wallace in the top five. Any omission of "Biggie Smalls" is considered Hip Hop blasphemy. Even highly educated college professors have made a career out of quoting Wallace's lyrics like "The 10 Crack Commandments" as if they were part of some sacred text. Even today, if you go to any Hip Hop clothing store in any city in America you can still buy the T-Shirt of The Notorious BIG with the crown on his head for 20 bucks.
However, as it is with most American icons, we never take a minute to ask, at the end of the day, what was this person's overall contribution to society that made him worthy of the accolades that we bestow upon him, posthumously.
The tragic story of the Notorious BIG is the cornerstone of the Hip Hop catechism and has been the subject of so many books, documentaries and magazine articles that I am not sure how much more light the film "Notorious" can shed on his life. I guess that the movie company, Fox Searchlight, is banking on the possibility that thousands of loyal Hip Hop fans will be willing to put down $8 a head just to pay homage to their dearly departed idol, even in the midst of a major Recession.
But the question remains, what makes a person like Christopher Wallace still relevant a decade after his death when many of our leaders who sacrificed their lives for black people are forgotten soon after their casket drops?
Most Hip Hop heads can run down in their sleep how Wallace sold drugs in Brooklyn, signed with Bad Boy, married Faith Evans and discovered Lil Kim. Who doesn't know about his infamous beef with Tupac Shakur during the mid 90's that had black folks debating who had the best rappers, the East or West Coast, during the same period when right wing conservatives were debating how to take away the few rights that black folks had.
Many of the faithful still get teary eyed when they recall the night that "Big" was murdered, a tragedy that made a black record label owner rich and a whole lot of multi-national white businessmen, richer.
Very few Hip Hop aficionados will debate the fact that many consider Wallace's first release, "Ready to Die," a Hip Hop classic. But one would be hard pressed to find anything even remotely political or intellectually, insightful in any of the lyrics on his CD's where every thing he rapped about could have taken place within a one mile radius of his own block. Besides tales of black on black homicide and suicidal thoughts based on either self hatred or major depression, there is little else to justify any of his work being held in the same light as a " It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" or "The Score."
Talid Kweli once rapped about how we have the uncanny ability to find beauty in the hideous. In the case of Biggie's lyrics, we also try to find depth in the shallow.
Maybe the reason lies within our "mis" educational system. We are trained since elementary school to accept what the text books teach us as the absolute, unadulterated truth. If the book says that Christopher Columbus "discovered" America, then Christopher Columbus discovered America. So as we get older, if a Hip Hop magazine says that Christopher Wallace was the greatest of all time , than Biggie Smalls was the illest. No questions asked.
Perhaps we just have a fascination with death. Especially the deaths of other black folks. I know people who can't start their day without checking the newspaper to see who got shot the night before. We also have the tendency to elevate people in death to levels that they would have never achieved in life.
In ancient Egyptian culture, when a pharaoh died he was worshiped as a god. So when rappers die violently, they are transformed into gods of war, leading their followers on a quest to seek revenge against all those that had beef with them when they were alive.
Holly'hood has also capitalized off of our necrophilia as, for the last 15 years, the plot of black men getting tragically caught up in the streets has been the theme of too many movies to name. No one wants to admit that although they say art imitates life, in the hood , life imitates art as the death of Christopher Wallace only helped to desensitize a generation of young black men to the finality of death. And with the upcoming release of "Notorious," we see that we still have not learned our lesson.
Sadly, although the Notorious BIG became even more famous beyond the grave, for the young brothers who followed in his footsteps, the only fame they received was a 15 second news flash on Channel 9.
Back in the day Kurtis Blow said that there were 8 million stories in the naked city. Unfortunately, most of our stories end the same way . No happily- ever- after. No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Just black blood being spilled on city streets.
I guess the BIG man was right when he said that "You're nobody till somebody kills you."
Paul Scott, the Hip Hop TRUTH Minista's blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at email@example.com (919) 451-8283
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The original story that appeared in Zimbabwe's, the Herald is here:
Say it ain't so!
Would these pillars of morality and civility really conduct biological warfare on a poor African country?
Now, most black folks who don't read anything deeper than "urban novels" with stories about how Drug Dealin' Big D got shot by Latoya's baby's daddy" or watch bootleg Tyler Perry movies, every night, instead of watching African history documentaries by Dr. John Henrik Clark probably won't pay this story any mind.
But those of us who have read "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" by Walter Rodney, "Africa in History" by Basil Davidson, "Medical Apartheid" by Harriet A. Washington or "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" by Patricia Turner know that history teaches us that such an event is not beyond the realm of possibility.
Then again, most folks who believe that the Bloods and Crips, in this country, murder each other because "that's just what black folks do" and that malt liqour, crack and high powered assault rifles just magically find their way into poor, black neighborhoods, will refuse to believe that such a thing could happen no matter how much information you place in front of them.
I guess the old English dude, Thomas Gray was right when he said ," Where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise."
However, whether you believe it or not, as Hip Hop group Mob Deep once rapped on "Survival of the Fittest,"
"There's a war going on outside, no man is safe from..."
Especially if you're black...
Friday, December 12, 2008
All across Durham, inquiring minds wanted to know what was said and who said it...
Well, today the Durham Po Po came clean with the "official" results of "their" investigation.
Now, we still don't know "who" but it seems we now know part of the "what." (I guess.)
If you remember WTVD broke a story back on 11/12 that started with the headline:
"The Durham Police Department is investigating whether its own officers posted racially charged remarks about President Elect Barack Obama. "
The story said that "two" officers were under investigation for allegedly putting the messages on Myspace.
According to the "official" police statement, there were three officers under investigation and it wasn't "Myspace" but Facebook.
Or at least the Facebook page is the one that is talked about in the report.
Is the public getting the real deal or just a sanitized version of what could have been a PR disaster ?
The world may never know unless one of the City Council folks raises the question or WTVD tries to redeem itself by posing some real tough questions, tomorrow.
Now, according to the police department's release, come to find out there was nothing racist about Obama at all on at least one of the "Facebook" pages...
According to the release, some of the statements on the page "included" something about the officer preparing for his "2nd dan " and realizing "that's what we get for passing the 14th amendment." He later said that he meant the "19th amendment" not the 14th.
So, he was dissing women voters not black folks...
(And all this time ya'll thought they had called Obama the N word.)
Excuse the scepticism but NWSF wants to know if that is all there was to it, then why all the hush hush ? Wouldn't it have been easier just to post the Facebook page on the police department's website a month ago and let that have been the end of it?
Also, is there an original "Myspace" page showing Obama in a monkey costume floating out in cyberspace, somewhere ?
I mean, Myspace, Facebook, Bebo they're all the same to me...But for professional journalists who get paid the big bucks to fact check, well....
I wonder if the outcome would have turned out differently if the City Council would have held its own investigation instead of letting the fox guard the hen house?
Oh well, shotty journalism by the media or a good spin job by the police department ?
You be the judge.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
If you live in Greensboro, NC, chances are you've probably heard of Jorge Cornell. To hear the cops tell it, he's a Latino version of O-Dog from Menace to Society. But to many in the black and Latino community he is a modern day Huey P. Newton.
In an interview, earlier today, NWSF.com wanted to know why Cornell is loved by some and hated by others.
"They downplay the positive," says Cornell who says that he has been active in the Greensboro community doing everything from feeding the homeless to trying to establish black and brown unity.
A New York native, Jorge "King J" Cornell, "Inca" (leader) of the Greensboro Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) says that he was politically active up North and carried that same spirit below the Mason Dixon where he says that racism is 10 times worst than it is in the Big Apple.
According to Cornell, it is not his gang affiliation that has gotten him in trouble with the law but his political activities.
He says that the Latin Kings have been harassed for a while but it escalated after he made his "Call for Peace" last June.
Since then he says that he has been charged with 13 felonies, all of which have been dismissed.
Coincidentally, Cornell says that he has been shot twice since last August.
However, he says that his brushes with death only gave him more motivation to fight for the people.
When asked about the media hype of the tension between the black and Latino communities Cornell said bluntly, "Totally false."
"If Black and Brown come together, there is so much that we can accomplish, we are the same people," says Cornell.
"They brought you here in shackles and they ship us off in shackles, says Cornell, referring to immigration laws, an issue that is dear to his heart.
He mentioned his concern over Section 287 G of the Immigration and Nationality Act which, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website, allows "the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions."
Although, some would say that there are two sides to every story, there is one story that has never really been told. That is the political suppression of oppressed people. Until that story is told, all the facts aren't in and we can never arrive at a clear consensus of whether gangs like the Latin Kings are helping or hurting their communities.
With all the drama that activists have to go through, why doesn't King J just take an early retirement?
"I'm wiling to die for this," says Cornell. "If I can make a change for my people, that's what it is..."
Paul Scott, the Hip Hop TRUTH Minista's blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The Truth Behind Cadillac Records
There is a scene from the new movie, Cadillac Records where disc jockey and payola hustler, Alan Freed tells Rock and Roll pioneer, Chuck Berry , that he is going to make him famous but tells record label owner, Leonard Chess that he is going to make him rich.
Although the movie takes place in the 1950's, we see the same power relationships happening within black music today, especially Hip Hop.
Cadillac Records tells the story of the rise and fall of one of the early exploiters of black talent, Chess records. The company was owned by Leonard Chess, a Jewish immigrant with an ear for black music, which at that time was referred to as "race music."
The movie chronicles the careers of such blues artists such as Muddy Waters, Lil Walter, Howlin' Wolf and Etta James, the founders of what would become known as Rock and Roll. While the film deals with multiple topics such as rocky relationships and drug abuse issues that have plagued many artists, the moral of the story is the commercial root of the exploitation of black talent by whites. Unfortunately, since many young Hip Hop heads will only go to the movie to gaze at Sasha Fierce (I mean Beyonce), who plays Etta James, this theme will be missed , as well as its connection to the Hip Hop empire of today.
While the movie deals, primarily, with the period just before the rise of the Rock and Roll era , the origin of the exploitation of black music started with the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.
In his outstanding book , "White Labor, Black Wealth: The Search for Power and Economic Justice," Dr. Claud Anderson traces the roots of white fascination with black music back to the slave ships when the captains let the captives blow off some steam during rituals known as "dancing the slaves." This trend continued on to the plantations when the enslaved Africans' renditions of "Camp Town Lady" helped the plantation owners get their party on.
As pointed out in the movie, during the early years of Rock, white artists like Elvis Presley, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones "borrowed" the styles of black artists like Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry, quickly diminishing their value in an industry that would much more readily accept white artists who could sing "black" instead of blacks, themselves.
Also, the black artists often signed weak contracts that paid them only a fraction of what white record owners, who didn't sing one note, were making from their talent.
According to Fredric Dannen's book, "Hit Men," which goes into detail about the rise of the major labels, while the early record executives, such as the owners of Chess, King and Savoy Records saw that race music had a bright future "many of them were crooks...their victims were usually poor blacks."
As in the movie, Dannen goes on to write that a black artist would get tricked into getting paid with a big shiny "Cadillac worth a fraction of what he was owed."
This leads us to the Hip Hop Era, where white corporations found a new source of black talent to exploit that came gift wrapped with a low overhead and an already established fan base.
So just like in the 50's, black Hip Hop artists are still selling their souls, both liberally and figuratively, for Cadillacs in the form of pimped out Escalades.
Although, some may point to the early success of small record labels such as Enjoy and Sugar Hill Records as examples of black economic empowerment with the popularity of their early Hip Hop releases, it was not until Hip Hop began to cross over to the white market that the mansions and limousines that many Bronx teens rapped about became a reality. The crossover appeal of Hip Hop was not so much because of the talent of the black artists but "culture bandits," as writer Del Jones once referred to them, such as the Beastie Boys and later Vanilla Ice.
As much as many Conservatives have decried the rise of "gangsta rap" in the late 80's/early 90's as some kind of moral deficiency on the behalf of black folks, they often overlooked the white financed origins of the genre by record moguls such as Jerry Heller (Ruthless Records) and Jimmy Iovine (distribution of Death Row Records.)
What should also be noted is that while the destructive lifestyles of the early black artists, though tolerated, were bad for the bottom line, as in Chuck Berry's imprisonment and Etta James' drug addiction, the self destructive lifestyles of the Hip Hop artists were seen as a boost for record sells. If we look at the tragic lives of some of the Death Row artists such as Tupac Shakur, we see that although "Self Destruction" was denounced in a unity record by early Hip Hop top artists in 1988, by 1992 it had become celebrated.
If Tyrone Jackson goes to his job at Mickey D's drunk, he gets the boot. But if TJ, the rapper comes to work high off Sizzurp (codeine and liquor), he gets a bonus.
Also, although there has always been a high level of competition between black groups (check out Funkadelic's 1975 diss to their rivals "Let's Take it to the Stage,), the record labels soon found out that it was more cost effective to add guns to the mix. And when the events climaxed to the predictable outcome, the industry realized that dead rappers actually sold more records than live rappers. Not to mention the movie deals such as Tupac Resurrection (Paramount) and the upcoming movie, Notorious (Foxlight Search).
So, while many black artists of the past were tricked into signing iron clad life long contracts, the contracts of today also cover the after life.
Although, the genesis of the white gangsta rap phenomenon was nearly 20 years ago, the impact can still be felt today as evidenced with the success of Iovine's Introscope/Universal Music Group's, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent the latest cultural exploiter, Eminem.
But the question is, with all the talent, as well as wealth that today's artists posses, why have they not come together and developed some process of Afrocentric "vertical integration, which Dr. Anderson defines as when " a single entity or group controls all aspects of the creation and sale of a service or product, including obtaining the raw materials, processing and manufacturing then distributing, marketing and selling the finished product."
Perhaps the answer lies in the most symbolically, powerful subplot of Cadillac Records. While the character "Lil Walter" refers to Leonard Cress as his "white daddy," Etta James is in a constant search for love from pool shark, Minnesota Fats whom she believed was her white, biological father.
Until black artists start believing that they can become self sufficient, they will forever be the music industry's little black bastards looking for a white daddy to take care of them.
Paul Scott, the Hip Hop TRUTH Minista's, blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, December 6, 2008
According the the story, Bernstein was just tryin' to keep it real with the slavery thing.
Problem is it really upset one of the teens who had to miss a day out of school.
Yeah, I guess for some girls being made to crawl around in front of a bunch of teenage boys, who at that age can find humor in a car wreck, would be kinda humiliating.
But I guess that was real authentic since her ancestors who had to crawl around in front of mobs of white men probably didn't like that too much, either.
I'm just glad that the teacher wasn't doing a lesson on pimps and ho's.
Superintendent Brian Monahan did say that "if the student was upset, then it was a bad idea."
Duh, ya think?
The child's mother, Christine Shand, thinks that the teacher should be removed from class but Monahan is not saying how the situation will be handled.
(In other words Berstein will be forced to write "I'm sorry" 100 times on the blackboard and sing, "Let My People Go" in blackface during the Black History Month program.)
Maybe, Bernstein really didn't mean any harm and was just adding a little flava to the lesson. But like Grandma used to say "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
I wonder what would have happened if black social studies teacher, Tyrone Jackson, had decided to demonstrate the horrors of the Holocaust by marching two little Jewish girls to the ovens in the home economics room?
Somehow, I don't think Mr. Jackson would be getting a paycheck at the end of the month. Nor do I think Ms. Bernstein would have found it enlightening.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I haven't heard that many tributes on the radio, today playing his speeches and I don't think that BET is going to do a tribute like they do for Tupac Shakur and the Notorious BIG.
Guess they can't find much air time in between songs and videos talking about black people killing other black people as a form of recreation.
Then again its not like a lot of folks know about "Chairman Fred," who up until his dying day at the young age of 21 spent his days putting together programs to feed children in the 'hood and organizing gang members to help the community instead of destroying it.
Since most Americans suffer from historical amnesia, they try to forget that not too long ago helping black folks was a crime punishable by death at the hands of the government.
So, while you can find hundreds of videos at Blockbuster and on Netflix with black men being shot over song lyrics and car rims, you can hardly find any footage of Fred Hamptain lying in his bed covered with blood because the enforcers of the COINTELPRO program considered Sickle Cell Anemia clinics a threat to national security.
Until we tell our children about great black leaders such as Fred Hampton we are only fooling ourselves if we think that we will ever stop the "gang problem."
To borrow from Chairman Fred, we will only keep coming up with,
"Answers that don't answer, explanations that don't explain and conclusions that don't conclude."
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I was rollin' down the Durham Freeway the other night and I saw this big beam of light shootin' towards the heavens.
(For the wise apple from Iowa ,again, who just said "It was probably a helicopter spotlight lookin' for some of those famous Durham criminals"...That ain't funny)
Anyway, it was not an attempt to contact the Brother from Another Planet. Or for my P-Funk friends who still listen to 8 Tracks and wear high heel boots; an attempt to call down George Clinton's Mothership.)
It was Durham's new toy..Drum roll please....
The Plensa "Bridge to the Sky Sculpture!" Which I affectionately refer to as the "What tha?" sculpture. You know, the masterpiece that Raleigh turned down a while back.
According to a News and Observer story from last October, some folks here think it's a big deal and will be just the thing that Durham needs to become another Hollywood, Broadway or Star Trek Convention host city.
I don't know. Just looks like a light pointing up to the sky to me...
But what do I know, my idea of fine art is that painting of the bull dog with the derby and cigar shooting pool on the velvet background...
Good thing is that our tax dollars didn't pay for the oversized flashlight, Capital Broadcasting is flippin' the bill.
But according to the article, the city is going to pay about 4 grand a year for maintenance.
But that's over a 25 year period!
Some may say that that's not a lot of money but when you watch the news every night and there are tales of folks losing their homes left and right because of the Depression/Recession...
Well, seems like a lot of loot for a glorified, potted light saber.
Maybe some good will come out of it. Maybe it will bring more tourists to the area. Or maybe the hundreds of homeless people who wonder around downtown can warm their hands from the heat of the 7,000 watt light bulb when temperatures dip below freezing this winter...
Monday, December 1, 2008
I, first, met Mr. Fields back around '94 when he helped to produce my cable show "The Scoop from the Stoop."
Uncle Bubba was more than just a videographer, he was a committed activist, giving a voice to those who would have otherwise gone unheard.
Rest in Peace, my friend.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Dreamin' of a Black X Mass
Now that most of America has finally gotten over the fact that in a few weeks the leader of the free world is going to be a black man, I've got a real shocker for y'all and you might wanna sit down for this one...
The man whose birthday that you go in debt celebrating every December 25th...
Well, he was black too!
Not only that. But he was a black man who was baptised by a radical preacher named John the Baptist and hung out with a reformed terrorist named Simon Peter.
So, you might want to get a refund on that new $100 nativity scene that you just brought from WalMart because that pale skinned Christ child laying in the manger in your front yard is, well, an impostor
Since, the last election many white folks have been busy patting themselves on the back bragging about how America has finally become tolerant of all cultures and racism is a thing of the past.
But hypocrisy for most folks goes but so far. And when you start messin' with the traditional image of some one's religious icon, all bets are off!
Traditionally, the image of a caucasian Christ has been as American as apple pie. Whether you, personally, despise the taste, you swallow it anyway. That's the sacrifice of being a patriotic American.
However, with this sudden embrace of diversity, can America finally accept that in all likely-hood, Jesus (Yeshua) probably resembled the new president elect, Barack Obama more so than the 43 presidents before him?
From a geographical standpoint, it would be virtually impossible that a person born in the region of the world commonly known as "the Middle East" courtesy of a man made ditch known as the Suez Canal which separates it from Northeast Africa could have pale skin and not get a terrible sun burn. Also, he could never have hidden in Egypt for so many years, incognito.
Now, we've all heard the much parroted argument that his skin was like an "olive."
(Yeah, but more like one of those black olives that they put on your sandwich at Subway.)
Historically speaking, the image of the blue eyed, blond haired Jesus is the result of artistic license taken by European artists such as Michelangelo who used his family members to pose as Biblical characters. And since Pope Julius II gave the painting a thumbs up, no one questioned it.
But after nearly 500 years, don't you think that it is time to change the traditional image of Christ to one more reflective of historical accuracy than ethnocentric bias ?
For many white folks this is much to do about nuthin'. But your ancestors didn't get brought here by Captain John Hawkins in chains on the "Good Ship Jesus of Lubeck." Neither were you told that your servitude was divinely ordained by the same image that's on the Christmas cards that you get every year.
Now if you are one of those highly intellectual scholars who believes that "Jesus" is simply an esoteric concept that should not be subjected to historical scrutiny, the color of Christ is a moot point.
However, if you are one of those Bible thumpin' Evangelicals who believes that everything in the Bible is the 100% unadulterated word of the Creator, than in 2008, you've got some explaining to do to convince me that Jesus was not a man of color.
Especially, since people have been preaching the Gospel of cultural diversity for the past year. If a predominately white congregation wants to prove their cultural and religious tolerance to me, all the pastor has to do is replace the white fellow with the straight hair above the pulpit with a black man with dreadlocks. Then we can break out the eggnog and sing a soulful rendition of Silent Night, together.
Let's face it. This is a new day in America and now that the Pandora's box of cultural diversity has been pried open, don't be surprised if you start seeing black Jesus figurines popping up all over the place.
So, to all my white Evangelical Christian friends, I leave you with my Hip Hop version of a popular song of the season.
"May your days be merry, not wack"
"And may all your Christmases be black"
Paul Scott "the Hip Hop Truth Minista's" blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com
Friday, November 28, 2008
11/29 around 8:30 EST on WRJD in Durham to discuss the racist Anti Obama graffiti that was painted on the North Carolina State University free expression wall.
To listen go to:
"Calvin Klein's no friend of mine. Don't want nobody's name on my behind."
That was before Hip Hop sold out to the great powers of commercialism.
Now, a lot of kids are just walking billboards for multi billion dollar corporations.
Go to any mall and you will see high priced jackets advertising every thing from Mountain Dew to Home Depot.
Now, I must admit some of the clothes are kind of fly (from a Hip Hop standpoint).
But paying top dollar to wear a big Home Depot jacket ?
Maybe Tool man Tim from Home Improvement...But Tyrone from tha hood?
That is one of the problems with black culture. We come up with the freshest styles then someone else comes along, packages it and then sells it back to us at 1000 % profit. And our children become walking commercials without even knowing it.
What if black teens started designing their own clothing and selling it to their peers.
Maybe that's one way to put the drug dealers out of business.
If only more of our youth thought like that.
But some do.
Last night, I asked my college freshman nephew what he had chosen for a major.
He said without a moment of hesitation.
"Business and Entrepreneurism"
Maybe, there is hope for this generation, after all...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Although some folks swallowed the act, hook, line and sinker, black and latino parents with teenage children should be concerned about the part under § 14‑50.16. "Pattern of criminal street gang activity" Part B which says:
(b) As used in this Article, 'criminal street gang' or 'street gang' means any ongoing organization, association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, that:
(1) Has as one of its primary activities the commission of one or more felony offenses, or delinquent acts that would be felonies if committed by an adult;
(2) Has three or more members individually or collectively engaged in, or who have engaged in, criminal street gang activity; and
(3) May have a common name, common identifying sign or symbol.
So any kid that looks like he gets his fashion sense from BET can be considered a gang member.
That's all some police officers, like the ones who were busted for allegedly putting racist anti Obama comments on MySpace need; an excuse to bust some heads on general principle.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
In Hip Hop history, that was a time when the idea of "pimpin' ho's" had taken on new dimensions.
So, Pimp Juice came out at a time when the entertainment industry was busy persuading young black boys that they were pimps and black girls that they were ho's.
So when Nelly released his energy drink/party mix, needless to say,
We were not amused.
I thought they had gotten the hint and removed the product or at least changed the name.
But when I walked past Spencer's novelty store in Northgate Mall in Durham, yesterday,
There it was, in big purple cans !
According to the Pimp website. The drink is being distributed in NC by "Dixie" Distributors out of Hickory. Wonder if there is a Confederate Flag hanging outside the company ?
I also wonder if they are still giving out those Pimp Scholarships ?
Now initially it was supposed to be in every 7-11 in tha hood so I guess it being confined to a space between Fart joke books and tongue piercings in a novelty store, ain't a bad thing.
But the principle remains.
How long are we going to convince black kids to be pimps when we could use that same energy to convince them to be President?
Monday, November 24, 2008
I actually got the idea from Dr. Jared Ball, a professor at Morgan State in Baltimore. For the last few years he has been making free mix tapes available to educate communities across the country.
I was actually on one of the mixtapes back in 12/05
Check out the link below for some of the mix tapes:
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"Beware of the hand when it's comin' from the left
I ain't trippin' just watch your step."
Can't Trust It- Public Enemy
You know Bob. He's the cool white dude that can quote the latest rap lyrics. He's the one marshmallow in a sea of Coco at the annual Kwanzaa Festival. Bob is always down to start a water cooler monologue about how well the black quarterbacks are playing in the NFL this year. Yeah, Bob's an alright dude. That is until that one day you bring up the subject of black self empowerment. Then mild mannered "Bruce Banner" Bob morphs into an Incredible Hulk of indignant rage.
With Liberals you can do anything that you wanna do but when you start talking about black folks acting and thinking for themselves it's like you just stepped on their liberal blue suede shoes with football cleats on.
The relationship between the Left and African Americans has been like the relationship between Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. As long as black folks parrot the party line they will always have a spot on the stage. However, they will never control the dialogue.
Evidence of this is when the Liberals got their panties in a bunch over the California Proposition 8 vote. The Left's confusion over the support of Proposition 8 by black church folks is an indication of ignorance of black culture and the black religious experience. It is a known fact that is constantly ignored by Liberals that, the race issue aside, most black folks are more conservative in their theology than white Evangelical Christians. While Aunt Ruth may not have studied Marx's theories on class struggle, she does know her Bible and a bunch of yahoos holding up protest signs on television ain't gonna change her mind about what Pastor Jones says on Sunday morning.
And you're not going to win any friends among black folks by making threats or insulting the "First Baptist Methodist Pentecostal African Church." You will just find yourself headed for a "Bible beatdown" courtesy of the usher board and senior choir.
And the idea that theologically conservative Rev. Martin Luther King Jr would have taken a pro same sex marriage stance at the risk of alienating his power base made up of millions of black folks just like Aunt Ruth is the same faulty historical revisionism that the Left is infamous for using to manipulate African Americans who have not studied their history.
No matter how many times a Liberal watches Roots he will never truly understand what it means to be an African in America.
What most folks on the Left fail to realize is that the college educated, community organizer with whom they had breakfast at Starbucks, this morning, does not represent the entire black community. We are not monolithic but there are certain cultural norms that black people have just because of shared life experiences. This is something that most white people don't understand.
Historically, there has always been a division between the Left/Liberals and the masses of black people going back as far as the Harlem Renaissance. While this period is hailed by many as one of the greatest periods of black cultural expression, it is seen by others as a plot by the Left to undermine black nationalist movements such as that of Marcus Garvey. Many people are not familiar with Marcus Garvey because his Universal Negro Improvement Association did not allow white entry. This is why any mention of his name is excluded form history. Anyone whose message does not have color blind, universal love as its centerpiece is usually considered persona non grata by the Left. This is not limited to Garvey but any black person who has dared to speak honestly about the race issue in this country. Although James Baldwin's alternative lifestyle may be celebrated by the Left, his harsh critiques of Liberalism are not.
For further historical documentation of this division, I suggest you read Harold Cruse's "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual" and Kwame Ture's (Stokley Carmichael) speech "The Pitfalls of Liberalism" as well as his Berkeley speech.
For most black folks there is little difference between a right wing Conservative and a left wing Liberal. They are both after one thing:
The control of resources (ie social, political, economic power.)
To borrow from Kwame Ture' the bottom line is white people (even the most Liberal) are fighting for power. Black people are fighting for survival.
Paul Scott's blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I remember back in the 90's when the network used to have call in talk shows, sneaking past the screeners and using their airwaves to attack the malt liquor ads that they used to air every 15 minutes.
But as they say, one good program "can cover a multitude of sins."
Let's face it, for the last 15 years, BET has been an embarrassment to most black folks over 18 with a job and a GED.
But I have to admit that the American Gangster series is pretty good as the first minutes of every program usually deal with the socio-political climate of the time.
They recently did a program on J. Edgar Hoover, former head of the FBI and father of COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program).
The show was important because that is a period of time that America would like to forget. A period when the government turned on her own citizens for merely fighting for equal rights.
Maybe the program will inspire BET's "106 and Park" crowd to pick up books by Kenneth O' Reilly (Racial Matters and Black Americans:The FBI Files) and read about a piece of history that they will not get in school.
I just wish that BET would connect the dots and reveal that the damage caused by COINTELPRO is the reason for the "gangsta-isms" promoted in their videos...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
According to the story, Ayman al-Zawahri , said that Obama was the direct opposite of "honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X and is being used to do white folks' dirty work.
Now just because Malcolm X is considered by many black folks, especially in my generation, to be a shining example of black manhood. Just because he stood, uncompromisingly, in the face of danger to speak a truth that would inspire generations of black youth for ages to come and Obama had to throw his ex-pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright under the bus and tone down his blackness in order to sit in the White House, doesn't mean....
(I forgot my point)
But I guess the obvious point is that Bro. Malcolm wasn't running for prez.
I wonder how the talking heads like Sean Hannity are going to get around mentioning Malcolm X's name while trying to report this story...
"Next on Fox; an Al-Qaeda leader is comparing Barack Obama to....to..."
"Darn it all!"
A brotha can' get a break.
The Right Wingers are calling Obama a terrorist and the terrorists are calling him a house negro.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Somehow, I can't see 300 pound Marine, Sgt. Slaughter needing government protection against gettin' a beat down.
Why not apply the law to anyone in uniform. So the next time the jerk at McDonalds gives you an apple pie instead of a cherry pie and you yank him by the collar; you can be charged with a hate crime.
Once again , laws that were, initially, packaged as a way to protect black folks benefit everybody and their mama except black folks.
The problem is that if you make everything a hate crime than it loses its flavor.
You have laws that protect everybody from lovers of the same sex, lovers of goats to lovers of fine wine that were originally supposed to protect black folks from the boys in the white hoods.
I've never seen the hate crime law applied in my hood.
(OK, I heard the person from Idaho just say "'cause ya'll are too busy killing each other.")
Yeah, I guess hate crime laws can't protect us from black on black crime.
That's the most hateful crime of all.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Paul Scott - Durham, N.C.
James Kirchick questioned the lack of support among African Americans for gay-rights issues. As an African American, I am tired of folks who seem to think that black civil rights issues should be mixed with the issues of others. To compare gay rights with the transatlantic slave trade is an insult to the millions of my ancestors whose bones rest at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
It must also be noted that since the civil rights era, our movement has been hijacked by every other group that has a beef with America — from gay-rights to animal-rights groups — so much so that many issues that pertain specifically to black people get lost in the shuffle. The freedom of African Americans has been paid for with our own blood, sweat and tears. We do not need gay-rights activists or any others to co-sign.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
You've Got Your Troubles...
Back before I was born, a group called the Fortunes had a hot hit with "You've Got Your Troubles I've Got Mine." Although the song, has now been relegated to late night infomercials, it could still be used, today, as the theme song for African American and Gay community relations.
Since the passing of Proposition 8 on the West Coast, a lot of people have been comparing the struggles of the homosexual community with the historical trials and tribulations that torment the souls of black folks.
To me that's like comparing an apple to an orange. (Or in this case a Big Mac to quiche.)
To compare the African Holocaust (Trans Atlantic Slave Trade) to the Same Sex Marriage Rights Movement is an insult to the millions of my African ancestors whose bones are resting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Can anyone say with a straight face that there is any similarity between being stolen from your homeland to work in the sweltering heat on a Georgia Plantation and the right to open a gay bar in Houston?
I don't recall reading about any slave ships being docked outside of San Francisco waiting for the next round up of homosexuals.
Some have even gone as far as to compare the Gay Rights Movement with the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's. How many pictures have you seen of racist Alabama sheriff, Bull Connor sicing German Shepherds on Gay Rights demonstrators? How many Gay Rights activists have been shot down in their driveways ,like Medgar Evers, as their families watched in horror ?
Homosexuals are not the first to hijack the black struggle for equality. Our tactics have been either used or stolen by any advocacy group that came along from the women's rights groups to the animal rights organizations. The gays and others have used these tactics with greater success than those who shed their blood, sweat and tears to implement them. The reason being that while gay unity has been accepted at least by homosexuals, black unity has often been frowned upon by many blacks whose philosophy has been that African Americans have to shed their blackness and blend in with the white majority in order to achieve social and economic equality. While gay people were being encouraged to come out of the closet, we were being told to put our blackness back in the closet. Also, if the tactics that are used by other ethnic groups had been used by blacks they would have been quickly denounced as evidence of "racism in reverse."
From the perspective of many blacks, homosexuality is more readily accepted in this country than racial issues. The homosexual white male who contracts HIV is looked upon with greater sympathy than the heterosexual African American male who contracts HIV from intravenous drug use or unprotected sex. Yet they both contracted the disease by lifestyle choices. On the world scene, concern over the AIDS epidemic of white males in America has trumped the concern over AIDS in Africa.
While some may view the gay rights argument in strictly theological or moral terms, this is not the case here. What is good or evil depends on which religious text you are reading and your interpretation or misinterpretation of it. While my own religious point of reference does not condone homosexuality, this would be relevant only if we were living under a Theocracy. While a Theocracy contains certain dogmas that demand strict adherence, the mantra of a Democracy is "If it feels good do it, just don't hurt anybody." Especially in America.
That does not mean, however, that one has to be pressured into condoning another person's embrace of an alternative lifestyle.
Just because I choose to blast my old school Run DMC album at 3am every morning does not mean that my 90 year old neighbor should be forced to share my taste in music.
The attitude of most black folks is "live and let live." We don't have the time nor energy to devote to gay bashing. In case you haven't been watching the news, we have our own problems to deal with.
Therefore, the idea of "black homophobia" that is tossed around every time black folks don't run to the front of the line at Gay Pride Parades is over exaggerated. I don't see too many black men ducking for cover when "Dancing Queen" blasts over the intercom system at the mall. For most, homosexuality is met with indifference. (For years, I thought Liberace was just a snazzy dresser who liked to play the piano.)
Although Hip Hop has had homophobia lumped in with its multitude of moral transgressions that does not reflect the reality of the nature of the subculture.
With songs like like "My Girl's Got a Girlfriend" and the embrace of Lesbianism in some Hip Hop videos and magazines, one can charge exploitation but not homophobia. Also, most rap artists are slow to offend a large segment of their fan base and financial backers for economic reasons, if not moral.
There is, however, a concern that the Black Empowerment Movement will be co-opted by the Gay Rights Movement. There is a real fear that one day someone will interject the line "when little gay boys and gay girls will join hands with straight boys and girls" into Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream Speech."
So the issue for black folks is not the rights of gays to marry or anything else but the way those rights infringe upon the movement for African American equality. If you think that it's hard being gay, you should try being black for a day.
To borrow from that oft repeated line of prose:
"I once complained about my pink paisley tie then I saw a man with a noose around his neck."
Paul Scott, the Hip Hop TRUTH Minista's blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wow, what a news flash...
Let me let you in on a little secret. A lot of folks don't know that Africa is a continent. And quiet as it's kept, many black folks who spilled their Kool Aid laughing at homegirl couldn't name five countries in Africa, themselves.
Why? Because Africa is not really mentioned in this society and when it is, it is not shown in the best light. For most people, their vision of Africa comes straight from a Tarzan movie or one of those Sally Struthers "feed Ethiopia" commercials.
I can't remember learning too much about Africa in school, either. That is except for Black History Month when they taught about where slaves came from.
Not much talk about Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Egypt (Kemet), etc...
Do yourself a favor and pick up a book by Dr. Yosef ben Jochannan, Ivan Van Sertima or Basil Davidson about African history, this weekend.
Or until then, check out an article I wrote a few months back "Afrocentricty for Dummies (and other Conservatives)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The reporter, as well as City Councilman Eugene Brown, seemed shocked because with the supposed end of "Racism" via the Obama campaign that this kind of stuff doesn't happen anymore.
Kind of naive if you ask me.
Racism is not something that you can just take off like a dirty shirt.
The story did say that the messages were on the officers' "private" Myspace pages.
Now, I'm not overly concerned about some anti-Obama message on myspace. But when the poster has the authority to kill at will; that makes me kinda nervous.
I have a lot of respect for the Durham Police. Compared to other cities, you really do not hear too much bad stuff about them. However, there is always one in every bunch.
Just my luck if the next time that I'm rollin' through tha hood late at night, the officer that pulls me over for pumpin' my Public Enemy cd too loud will be one of the Myspace militia.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Will Racism Rest in Peace?:
For half of America, the outcome of the last election was seen as a time to celebrate the birth of a new era of change. For the other half, it was a funeral to mourn the death of Racism and the idea that America is "a white man's country." While both of these scenarios made good headlines, neither represents reality; historically nor in real time.
This may come as a shock for the overly optimistic but Racism is not dead. Matter of fact, it has more lives than Jason from the Friday the 13th movie series. Just when you think you've finally laid him to eternal rest , you hear that annoying horror movie music and teenage campers start going missing at the lake.
The reason for the resilience of Racism is mostly because most people don't have a working definition of the term. While the dictionary may define it as "the notion that one's own ethnic stock is superior," the functional definition digs deeper into the social and economic roots of the "notion" of racial superiority. Racism is the ability for one's race to impose its will on another race. And to quote writer Neely Fuller, "the only form of functional Racism that exists among the people of the known universe is White Supremacy." Therefore, as a group, black people cannot be racist nor do we have any real power to dictate the terms of this country's race relations. In reality, the only black person in this country that has that power is Barack Obama, himself.
Historically speaking, this is not the first time that Racism has flat lined. From the time of the Emancipation Proclamation to Reconstruction to the election of President John F. Kennedy, many have prematurely declared Racism dead. Even in recent times, in the sometimes shallow world of Hip Hop , some have seen the popularity of white rappers such as Vanilla Ice and Eminem as evidence that Racism was on its last legs.
Racism is a horrible burden to bear for black folks and it is understandable why some are quick to report that "Joe the Racist" has died of pneumonia when, in actuality, he only had a cold.
For some, the reasons are economically motivated . It has always been a feeling among some African Americans that in order to move up in the world, you have to "act white" and deny your own culture. So, the upwardly mobile middle class no longer have to worry about being called "Oreos, sell-outs or Uncle Toms" at this year's Thanksgiving dinner by less affluent family members. If Racism is dead then everyone has equal opportunity.
There is also a sexual component to the need to break down racial barriers. For many years white women have been the forbidden fruit. There are black men who champion a color blind society for no other reason than to have a better chance of dating Sarah Palin.
But despite all the wishful thinking, there are reasons why Racism has more lives than Garfield.
First, as activists like the late Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichel) were quick to point out, Capitalism, needs Racism in order to survive. There has to be a permanent underclass and this underclass has been made up, primarily, of people of color.
Also, fighting Racism is in and of itself a business. If Racism ends, many civil rights leaders will be in line at Wall Mart trying to hook up a job for the Christmas season.
Lastly, for a large segment of the population, the only way that you will remove the sceptre of white supremacy is from their cold dead hands. If one truly needs to to know that Racism is alive and kicking one needs only to flip his radio dial to the local conservative talk radio station.
As long as you have right wing conduits such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Mike Savage holding daily seances on radio and TV shows, it won't be long before the white sheet wearing specter of Racism rises from the dead saying,
"Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."
Paul Scott's , "the Hip Hop TRUTH Minista" blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Wow, that's a shocker.
Most of the stories seem to be reporting that the reason is fear that the Democrats will start banning guns. Not much mention of the fear of many white folks that black folks are planning a massive take over of the country led by the president-elect, Barack "Hussein" Obama.
Didn't see any interviews with Billy Bob in Alabama who can't sleep at night for dreaming that slave ships from Africa are on their way across the Atlantic to take him and his family to work on a plantation in Kenya.
But some, at least have found humor in it.
The Athens Banner Herald reported Nov 6 that some store owner was having an "Obama Gun Sale."
According to the article, the owner of Georgia Outdoor Sports, Carrie Mental (Oh, my bad that was Carrie Mentel) said that the owners were just trying to use "a little bit of humor."
Guess that must be some of that Jeff Foxworthy type redneck humor that only folks in Georgia can appreciate....
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Let me say from the jump off. I like Citi Trends clothing store. Where else can you get a fresh new outfit, a black history book and jam to the hits of the '80's all for under $25? And the staff are real cool people, always smiling and real friendly, like a black version of Mayberry.
But I ain't feelin' their security system.
When you walk up to the store, the first thing you notice is two warning signs about surveillance. Now if that isn't enough to make you do an about face and head to the nearest Wal Mart, as soon as you walk through the doors you're greeted by a boomin' sound system that warns you that your activities are being monitored. (I guess, this is for the benefit of those who were illiterate and couldn't read the signs, outside.)
When Citi Trends first opened up, they use to have Officer Friendly posted at the front door eyeballin' you when you tried on the $3 baseball in the hat bin. But now Barney Fife has been replaced by a high tech ghetto security system.
The first time that I heard the system, I thought that I was going to have to empty my pockets and assume the position.
I know that people do steal and I guess some measure of security is necessary but check this out.
Citi Trends prides itself on being "fashion for less" and caters to the hip, Hip Hop crowd. They offer trendy, name brand clothes that would cost an arm and a leg at the mall for swap meet prices. Also, most of their clientele, at least in this area, seem to be black and Latino youth. (I can't remember seeing any white kids in there, not even the Eminem clones that listen to Lil Wayne on their Ipods.)
So am I saying that their customer demographic has anything to do with the extra security precautions? When is the last time that you had to pass through metal detectors at the Gap or Old Navy ?
I rest my case.
Also, this is a discount store, for goodness sakes! Robbin' Citi Trends is like swipin' stuff from the Goodwill.
Maybe, I am a little overly sensitive. But like many black folks, I remember being followed around toy stores as a child and record stores as a teenager. Even today, when I sport my baseball cap and hoody, I still, once in a while, notice that one of the clerks just happens to be looking for the latest Dead Prez CD at the same time that I am.
I can't help to think what the average black teen who comes into Citi Trends thinks when he hears the security alarm blastin' in his ears? Maybe he just ignores it or maybe it makes him feel like a no good low life who will always be perceived as a criminal. Even in a discount store.
Maybe I am over reacting and taking this thing too far...
But until they start putting guard dogs in front of Aeropostal...
Citi Trends needs to chill !
Paul Scott's blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (919) 451-8283