Thursday, September 18, 2008
Josh Howard's Unpatriotic Moment
Min. Paul Scott
I haven't watched a basketball game since Jordan retired, so I wouldn't have known Josh Howard, superstar basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks, if he bumped into me on the street and spilled my Starbucks.
,That was until he had the audacity to diss the Star Spangled Banner!
By now, I'm sure we all have seen the infamous, straight to youtube clip of Howard saying something to the effect that he didn't "celebrate" the Star Spangled Banner because he is black.
Of course, the talking heads are having a field day portraying Howard as some off the wall lunatic that has a history of "wildin' out."
But lets just suppose that in between his "wildin'" he made a profound statement and raised an issue that many Americans, black or white, don't really want to deal with.
As Frederick Douglas once asked, "What is the 4th of July (or any patriotic occasion) to black folks?"
I mean, its not like black folks were free when the Star Spangled Banner first broke into the top 10. As the rockets were bursting in air, my ancestors were still bustin' their hind parts in a cotton field somewhere.
Not exactly something that you want to celebrate and form holidays around...
So, how can white America really expect those of us who are not suffering from historical amnesia to sing the ode to Ole Glory with the same gusto as Billy Bob ?
Personally speaking, I haven't pledged allegiance, saluted the flag or gone to a 4th of July barbecue since 1984 when my 11th grade teacher made me read about Malcolm X. Just didn't have the same meaning after I heard the line about "you didn't land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on you!" Not that I go around looking for flags to use as kindling or anything, I just exercise my Constitution Right not to indulge.
Howard just said what many black folks say when they are not being filmed on a cell phone for youtube. And if white America stopped beating the revolutionary war drums long enough, they may realize that there was more than a grain of historical truth in what Howard said, sans the cussin' and the towel over his head.
Now, am I comparing the Howard's actions to Tommie Smith and John Carlos' raising of the Black Power fist at the '68 Olympics or Ali saying that no Vietcong ever called him the "N" word?
Not at all. This is kinda like the Kanye West "George Bush doesn't like black people remark." Standing alone, beautiful moment in black history. In the context of his booty shakin' music, big disappointment. But that didn't make what West said less true nor does Howard's behavior make his.
White Americans have always had a big problem with the people whom they pay millions of dollars to entertain becoming too political. One can look at the fall out over former Chicago Bull's star Craig Hodges sportin' his dashiki to the White House or Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf takin' a chill pill on the National Anthem.
The attitude of most sports fans is "Shut up and shoot the ball, you ingrate!!!
We will never have that prophesied "great discussion about race" until we stop shootin' the messenger and begin to feel each others pain. I will respect your right to sing "the Star Spangled Banner , "Proud to Be an American" or anything else as long as you respect my right to sing "Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud!"
So, America Oh, say can you see how we feel?
Min. Paul Scott 's blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, September 14, 2008
On Tuesday Sept 16 at 7PM there will be a panel discuss called "The Making of a Thug:" Hip Hop, Gangs and "Mis-Education" at the Stanford L Warren Library, 1201 Fayetteville St Durham NC.
Panelists will include Minister Paul Scott, activist and Hip Hop writer, Martina "Coach D' Dunsford, director of New Horizons and Crown King, area Hip Hop artist. The forum will be moderated by Shirley Williams, area radio show host. The event is free and open to the public.
Limited seating RSVP
Sponsored by the Campaign Against Mis-Education
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Open Letter to Katrina "Trina"Taylor:
In 1810, a South African woman named Sara Baartman aka "Hottentot Venus" was paraded across Europe as the epitome of a Chocolate Fantasy.
In 2008, the exploitation of black women continues.
Dear Ms. Taylor,
This letter is to inform you that you have just been selected for the 2008 Hottentot Venus Award for the most exploited black woman of the year. I have to admit that it was a close contest between you and that thick chick from the "Lollipop" video but that CD cover with a bullet perched, locked and loaded between your luscious lips put you over the top. I am sure that the cover will make a nice poster to hang on the walls of the bedrooms of thousands of abused black women across the country.
You may be glad to know that your new song "Look Back at Me" is #1 on the local Hip Hop station's top 8 at 8 countdown. Your intimate tails of fellatio are a big hit with the station's 12-16 year old target demographic. Who needs old lady Johnson's 8th grade Sex Ed class when you've got sexy Ms. Trina to teach you how to "filp it, rub it up and smack it."
In case you're not hip to the Sista who the award is named after, let me drop this on you. Sara Baartman was a South African who was taken all over Europe in freak shows because of here big behind and large breasts. When they were through exploiting her, they left her broke and destitute. Even after she died at the age of 25, they put her remains in a museum in Paris. I wonder what the Trina exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute is going to be like ?
Now, I'm not going to give you some long history lesson about how the black woman is the mother of civilization and used to be queens in Africa because if "Ladies First" by Queen Latifa and Monie Love didn't get your attention in the 90's and the staggering HIV and teen pregnancy statistics of 2008 don't phase you, learning about Queens Nzinga and Candace, probably won't, either.
I know that this may seem a little strange coming from a Brotha but in the real world boys grow up to be men and eventually, the "junk in the trunk" becomes less important than what's under the lid. But who really loves the black woman the most, the Brotha hangin' on the corner holdin' himself yellin' "Shawty lemma holla at cha" or the Brother who tells you the truth?
Now, I know that they tell you that you have Freedom of Speech but did Ice T have Freedom of Speech when he wrote Cop Killer or did Young Buck when he was censored by the "lyric committee" for rappin' about police brutality. I guess speech is only free to inflict more pain on the already mortally wounded: a generation of young black girls looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places.
Yeah, I know that a girl's role model should be her mother and all that but did Mama Jones raise her baby to grow up to be a stripper or were you watching Luke Skywalker and the 2 Live Crew videos while mama thought you were downstairs studying to be a lawyer ?
Trina, for better or worst, the realty is that you have a whole lot of little girls who look to you as a role model. Like it or not, you have more influence on some girls than their parents, teachers or politicians, combined. Unfortunately, many of the same young sisters who know every word to every song on your CD, can't tell you one thing that Michelle Obama said at the last Democratic Convention. So, you can have a thousand black first ladies and it won't do a thang to improve the self image of young black girls unless artists like yourself, accept some measure of responsibility for your actions.
So, Ms. Taylor, we congratulate you on being the "Hottentot of the Year" and as you prepare to take your victory walk, just remember that you have a generation of young black girls following behind you.
Min. Paul Scott represents the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham NC. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com