Monday, August 25, 2008
Maybe you can...
Last year, the commission developed GangNet statewide. Now law enforcement across the state can share criminal information about gang members. Law enforcement officers can enter into the database information about individuals who must meet two of eleven validation criteria or who have admitted gang membership.
Jones, the crime commission director, declined to share the 11 criteria or the GangNet training curriculum.
"We don't publicize the criteria because we don't want to let the gang members know what we are looking for or they will try to conceal it," he said.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"What defines a gang member?"
A sidebar story also sheds some light on the mysterious NC gang data base, "NC gangnet."
They did use one of my quotes in the story.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Do Black people suffer from "mis-education?" This is the topic of a nation wide radio discussion to be held on 8/22 8PM-10PM EST on Shairi's Radio Show on WXDU 88.7 FM in Durham NC.
To listen go to:
Call in numbers are (919) 684-8870 or (919) 684-8871
Shairis Poetic Radio show is hosted by Monica Daye along with cohosts Shawn Ingram and Poetic Mike. Friday's show will include "TRUTH Minista" Paul Scott as a guest host.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Over the last two years, Black America has been discussed by the mainstream media perhaps more times than in recent history. Between Don Imus, the Jena 6 and the presidential election, for a moment, it began to seem that black folks were, at least, beginning to put serious issues on the forefront. I began to think that our people were finally beginning to wake up. However, when I turned on 106 and Park and saw black men just an hour shy of 40 talking to 12 year old girls on their level, I faced the grim reality that the cycle of mis-education continues.
In 1933, the great educator, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, wrote "If you can control a man's thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions." Although, "The Mis-education of the Negro" was written 75 years ago, the issues raised are just as relevant today, especially within the context of Hip Hop.
It is no secret that Hip Hop has been on a downward spiral, creatively and intellectually, for well over a decade. However, during the last couple of years, what can best be described as "retarded rap" (or for the politically correct "mentally challenged music") has dominated commercial Hip Hop. While the issues of violence and misogyny have been addressed to no end, its blatant anti-intellectualism is rarely discussed with such emphasis.
It can be argued that even during Hip hop's most violent period, the lyrics of NWA and Tupac Shakur, at least contained some substance. There is a qualitative difference between NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" and Soulja Boy's "She Gotta Donk." At least the followers of THUG Life could deliver a half thought out attempt at apologetics.
Most disturbing is that for the first time in the history of African people, the youth are dictating the dynamics of black intelligence. Although, BET's 106 and Park is one of the most popular programs on cable television, there is something fundamentally wrong with a society when 30 something year old rappers are on the same wave length as teeny boppers.
It is undeniable that there has been a conscious effort for the powers that be to keep black people in a perpetual state of ignorance.
Going back over 400 years to the genesis of the African Holocaust (Trans Atlantic Slave Trade) we see that of the first things that the slave traders did was to control the means of communication by taking the drum.
It must be noted, as of 140 years ago, teaching black people how to read was a crime punishable by death. Later, even though the segregated school systems had their good points in regards to the attention given to the total well being of black children, the schools, themselves, were separate and unequal in their access to resources. Even the modern day educational system has been set up to maintain a permanent underclass.
Therefore, the all encompassing nature of mis-education must not solely be looked upon in generational terms. As Dr. Woodson pointed out, even the most highly educated are not able to escape the slave mentality. So much so that even powerful, college educated black people who own 100 media outlets and reach millions of black people , everyday, still cannot come up with a way to counter the mis-education of black children. In fact, they are willing accomplices with the mentacide of Afrikan people, to borrow a phrase coined by Dr. Bobby Wright.
Steve Biko once said that the most powerful weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. So, while it is often said that the goal of this educational system is to "leave no child behind," Capitalism, by nature makes such a grandiose task impossible as those in power have a vested interest in keeping the masses ignorant. Reason being that smart people ask too many questions. So, as Kwame Ture' taught us, there is a distinct difference between the "conscious" and the "unconscious."
Quiet as it is kept, those who have been chosen as black leaders also have a vested interest in keeping the masses ignorant for if the masses were properly educated there would be no need for their leadership, as the masses would simply solve their own problems.
After all the hoopla that black leaders did over "cleaning up rap music" last year, at the end of the day, were the masses of black people more knowledgeable about payola, the inner workings of the music industry and the names and faces of the major shot callers?
So what do we do?
Yes, we must boycott "retarded rap" but we must redefine what we mean by the oft misused and abused term "boycott," in the context of developing a desired result. Does a victory mean that ignorance will be totally eradicated from the airwaves, that some ratio will be developed between the play rotation of conscious Hip Hop and mentally challenged music. Or does victory just mean that some leader will be allowed to sit on a panel at BET to discuss the problem, once a year?
We must develop a leaderless Campaign Against Mis-Education (C.A.M.E.) in communities across the country where the masses of the people take it upon themselves to develop strategies to fight mis-education with education by doing such things as starting an email campaign to demand that conscious Hip Hop (especially from local artists) gets airplay on local stations and demand that in the midst of entertainment, the local station must devote some time to education as a condition for "borrowing" the airwaves. We must also develop a coalition of conscious radio hosts across the country that will circulate information as well as conscious Hip Hop so that we do not have to be so dependent on commercial radio.
As Bob Marley once sang, "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds."
Min. Paul Scott represents the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham NC. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Min. Paul Scott
In 1933, the great educator and founder of Negro History Week (now Black History Month), Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote, "If you control a man's thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. Although, "The Mis-education of the Negro" was written 75 years ago, the issues raised then are just as relevent today not only for African American youth but also for those who strive to teach them.
Every year, we are confronted with the age old question of why black youth are not achieving at the same rate as other racial groups. The reason that we continually raise the same questions is that very few have the courage to give the correct answer. While many would write the under achievement of African American children off as some sort of genetic deficiency, the truth is that the reasons are economic, social and political.
First, the depth of the destruction of African culture over a 400 year period via the TransAtlantic slave Trade is rarely discussed in the context of its impact on future generations. Although this is well researched in Walter Rodney's book "How Europe Under Developed Africa, how many people have heard of this outstanding work?
Also, it cannot be overstated that 140 years ago, teaching black people to read was a crime punishable by death. Why this fact is not highlighted as a probable cause for the current educational dilemma of black children has more to do with historical amnesia than historical accuracy.
While segregated schools may have had their good points ,as far as the attention given to the needs of black children, the schools were separate and unequal, lacking the resources to give black children an equal education.
Even as late as early as 20 years ago, members of my generation walked out of college graduation ceremonies to face the heartbreaking reality that we would earn considerably less than our white counterparts. This did not exactly serve as motivation for future generations to strive for academic excellence. Also, while grandma's sage advice that we had to be "twice as good as white folks" was well intentioned, this was an unfair burden to place on the shoulders of young African Americans.
This is why the Hip Hop generation has developed such slang terms such as "Street Knowledge" and "Thug Motivation" in order to compensate for the economic/educational disparity that they cannot understand nor properly articulate.
The media have never shown much interest in making the so called black "Hip Hop Generation" more culturally and politically conscious. Despite the large population of African Americans in the Triangle area, there are hardly any talk shows that supply African centered information to the community. However, there is no shortage of outlets that glamorize anti intellectualism. Even in the world of print media, since young black Americans are not the target audience, there is little effort to hire columnists to speak to their issues
As many Americans are using "change" as a buzz word this political season, we must understand that not only must there be change in politics but education and economics, as well.
We must come up with new and innovative ways to close the information/education gap.
The black community must produce a list of books that all black children should read and present that information to the Board of Education, as well as the community, at large. This list must include the works of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Dr. Amos Wilson and a host of others. Secondly, we must realize that "cleaning up Hip Hop" means more than just deleting dirty words but using the music to educate as much as entertain. Contrary to popular belief, there are Hip Hop artists that struggle to use their art to educate the masses.
Lastly, we must pressure the local media to develop outlets that will discuss the black experience in its totality, not just crime rates and other negative statistics.
Although the entire community will benefit from a truly enlightened populace, the burden of the responsibility to counter mis-education lies within the black community, itself.
As Bob Marley once sang, "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds."