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
To listen world wide go to:
http://www.wxdu.org and click on the top right corner
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I noticed that many blogs have names for their readers. So the readers of this blog will be known as the "No Warning Shots Firing Squad."
Our weapon is TRUTH and the enemies are LIES!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
For those outside of Durham, there is a current beef going on between those who want us to vote for a tax on food and those who want us to vote against it.
That's all well and good but what struck me was when I was flippin' the dial the other day on my boom box, I stumbled across the radio commercial that the anti food tax folks are running on black radio station, WFXC aka Foxy 107.
Picture Butterfly McQueen from "Gone With the Wind" and Aunt Jemima from the pancake box chewing the fat about politics.
The spot goes something like this...
"Girl, let's go out to eat."
"I can't girl, with this food tax, I won't be able to feed my kids !"
The commercial got me to thinking about how politics and products are marketed to black folks.
Now, I'm not against using a little swagga to push a political position or a product but there is a difference between sounding hip and sounding ig'nant.
I ain't mad at the Lou Rawls soundin' dude that they use to sell everything from burgers to Buicks. (Even though, I always expect him to bust out with a stunnin' rendition of "Groovy People" at the end of every commercial.) But when folks start talking like they're straight out the cotton patch, then I have a problem.
I wish I was a fly on the wall at one of those marketing meetings when they are trying to figure out ways to reach the black masses.
"Um, Tom..That's not black enough. Take it from the top with a little more ethnic energy."
"Yessa, Boss...I's tryin'....Eat Colonel Jack's fried chicken and chit'lins...."
Historically, how products are marketed has been an issue in the black community. For years we were not represented in marketing budgets at all since we were all considered to be broke. But when advertisers finally figured out that black folks did have some amount of disposable income what did we get? Cigarette ads and malt liquor commercials.
Who can forget the cool dude with the Kool menthol cigarette huggin' his main squeeze in Jet magazine or the smooth brother in the Colt 45 commercial that used to come on after your favorite Parliament record.
Thirty years later, the cool Kool dude is doing those Truth.org anti-smoking ads and the malt liquor man is stumblin' across a city street somewhere trying to borrow a dollar.
This becomes even more problematic in the world of politics.
On every black radio station there are ads with the same overly sympathetic black dude bragging about how his candidate of choice cares about "our" issues. That way they can cater to black voters without overly identifying with black people.
The latest ad running on black radio deals with senatorial Democratic candidate, Kay Hagan, having once, allegedly, been a member of a lilly white country club.
Somehow, I just can't see her opponent, Republican Elizabeth Dole, hangin' out in tha hood, either.
Bottom line is we can no longer accept being mindless victims of marketing strategies, whether political or economic.
Until, we as black folks begin to control how we are represented, we will be forever be steppin' and fetchin' for the highest bidder.
Paul Scott's blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com