Category Archives: black men

Freaknik the Musical: May Have Set Blacks Back a Step or Two

I can sum it up in 2 words: Neo-Coonery Foolishness.

I want the 30 min or so that I watched “Freaknik the Musical” back.  I think my credit score is actually lower this morning because I watched that mess.  That was one of the most ignorant, trifling, things I’ve ever seen.  There was no redeeming value.  Period.

  • A fat guy jumped into a sea of jiggling asses
  • Lil Wayne voiced a drug dealing king pin/Jesus Christ character
  • The Boule’s Oprah-looking charater
  • The robot that looked like Al Sharpton, voiced by Charlie Murphy

Now, I don’t know why I would have expected any less from T-Pain.  But you know what, he’s just a pawn.  I’m sure he was not the head person in charge.  I don’t know how a group of people…likely blacks and whites…got together and decided to spend money to produce this craziness.  I have to shout out “Come’on Son!!” to Cartoon Network on this one.

Now, let me just say to the haters…I know the Boondocks is on the same channel and last night a number of people noted on Twitter (hashtag: #freaknik) that they felt it was hypocritical that people love that show but hated this coon fest.  The difference: Boondocks episodes has a point.  There is an insight or awareness that is weaved through those episodes that is mixed in with various levels of craziness.   At the end of “Freaknik the Musical” what was the point?  Somebody please tell me!  Um…”Trap Jesus” aka Lil Wayne was in jail and “Ghost of Freaknik Past” aka T-Pain ran away from a woman who had just told him that she needed support for his baby.  WTF?

I will say that it had some potential.  They tried to comment on the struggle between old guard, black bourgeois and leadership vs.  the youth of the hip hop generation.  Also, some needed attention was given to illiteracy.  One of the main character’s catchphase was “It’s in a Book”.   That charater’s name was…”Light Skin”.

Wow.  Skin color divisions, rampant images of over sexualized women, violence, drug use, drug sales, etc… and that’s just the cartoon version.  No wonder Freaknik is no more.

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Filed under african american, black, black men, booty, community, culture, ghetto, hip hop, opinion, stereotype

O.J. Simpson, Rodman, RuPaul: Black History Role Models?

LA Times – In a letter addressed to parents and community members, a South Los Angeles elementary school principal apologized Thursday for “questionable decisions” about which prominent African Americans to highlight in a parade marking the culmination of Black History Month.

Lorraine Abner’s letter did not name the individuals. But her apology came after three teachers at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were suspended while the Los Angeles Unified School District investigates allegations that they had their first-, second- and fourth-grade students carry pictures of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul at last Friday’s event.

“Unfortunately, questionable decisions were made in the selection of noteworthy African American role models,” the letter said. “As the principal, I offer my apology for these errors in judgment.”

I don’t know about you, but for me Black History is Black History. If we remove one part of it, we are not telling the whole story. It is the whole story that makes history. We as African-Americans have had to fight to have our history included.   Now it would be a little hypocritical for us to start excluding people. To now start removing people or making apologies is unacceptable.

RuPaul represents a portion of our community.  We can’t celebrate our LGBTQ brothers and sisters?  There was a time in history before the trial and acquittal when O.J Simpson was a hero.  You remember those commercials.  Dennis Rodman was one hell of a basketball player. I think that Michael Jordan could give you a list of reasons why he should not be discarded.

I’d also like to note that the tale of O.J is not equal to the stories of Rodman and Rupaul.  Come on, people.  LA, I thought you guys were more progressive than this.  Oh no, I forgot…Prop 8.    Ok, but yall do like basketball so Rodman is ok, right.  Oh no, Yall only like the Lakers!  SMH

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Rep. Trent Franks: African-Americans were better off under slavery

Oh Wow.  RACIST!!   I want to thank Think Progress for posting this.  This is some straight BS!  If you are a black person living in AZ you need to campaign really, really hard to get this man out of office.  Here’s the info:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) — one of the most conservative member of Congress, according to a new National Journal ranking — decried the strained state of political discourse in an interview today with blogger-activist Mike Stark. While defending hate radio host Rush Limbaugh, Franks said bipartisanship and “true tolerance” is about “being halfway decent to each other in spite of the differences.” But when the conversation turned to abortion, Franks made a clearly indecent comment, claiming that African-Americans were probably better off under slavery than they are today:

FRANK: In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

What?  Huh?  Don’t believe me?  Watch it (beginning 6:20):

Franks continued by saying, “[S]ometimes we get angry and say things that we shouldn’t say, and I apologize…[for saying things] that are intemperate. But I don’t want to hide from the truth.”

Truth? Readers, is this the truth? AZ, is this the truth that you want your Representatives to believe in?

Update: Salon.com has picked up the story.  They report this: Abortion-rights opponents like to compare abortion and slavery; the Dred Scott vs. Sandford case is often seen on the right as the 19th century equivalent of Roe v. Wade. Still, the comments caught the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“To compare the horrors and inhumane treatment of millions of African Americans during slavery as a better way of life for African Americans today is beyond repulsive,” said Stephanie Young, a DCCC spokeswoman. “In 2010, during the 2nd year of our first African American president, it is astonishing that a thought such as this would come to mind, let alone be shared. The next time Congressman Franks wants to make assumptions about what policies are ‘best’ for the African American community, he should keep them to himself.” [Full Article]

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Question: Who is this “We” people always refer to when talking about change in the Black community?

I’m looking for WE.  You know, the “WE” that Black journalists, commentators, business people, politicians, and pundits talk about when they are interviewed on television and radio.  When they say things like…

  • We need to educate our children and take back our communities.
  • We need to harness our socioeconomic power and influence corporations.
  • We need to support “X” and “Y” legislation.
  • We need to step up and be fathers, mothers, mentors, leaders, business people, etc.

Do you know who “We” is?

In my opinion, the homogeneous black WE is a figment of the imagination.  We as African-Americans are not of one economic or social strata.  We are not all college educated or high school drop outs.  We don’t all have the Cosby family dream or come from strong single mother households.  It is this reality that is overlooked when people call on the WE.

When you call out to someone who isn’t there…they don’t hear you.  Black America is not hearing the call of some of it’s best and brightest leaders because they aren’t calling US collectively.  We are not WE…we are YOU.  You are the poor sista on welfare who is looked down upon because she needs food stamps to survive.  You are the brother who was passed along by “No child left behind” so that the graduation rates would be acceptable.  You are the child who is told they can be a great as Martin Luther King, but faces a reality in their neighborhood that says they will be lucky to secure a decent paying job after high school graduation.

When we all see our brothers and sisters as ourselves we gain the perspective that compassion and understanding brings.  Advising from a place of understanding brings context, and context makes words relevant.  You must take on the challenges, differences, issues and problems and see them on a personal level.  Seek to understand, not just provide lip service.  Then we can go from You to US.  Community.  You are then able to speak to the community at large as well as segments of the community in the ways that are most effective.  From there we can move the community to action, because as we all know, actions speak louder than words.

I don’t think that many people I hear are talking about US when they say “We need to”.  I think they are really saying that “The Talented Tenth” needs to.  They may be saying “You people” need to.  I think the appeals and advice, no matter how good and well intentioned, is falling on deaf ears.  We need action plans and road maps to the future that are formulated to appeal to our diverse community.  Black History Month is a great time to consider whether it’s time for talking or time for us to build community and effect change.

Hello, Negro family, I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

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Dr. Gates donates his handcuffs to the Smithsonian

None of the black people I know have ever been given their handcuffs as a “You got arrested” souvenir.  Apparently Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. received more than a beer at the White House after his traumatic arrest…on his front porch.   He’s donated the handcuffs used on him to the Smithsonian Institution’s black history museum.  This makes me wonder…what other items will be on display with these handcuffs?

  • One of the night sticks used on Rodney King
  • Handcuffs used on famous African Americans (MLK, Tupac, Diana Ross, etc)
  • A replica of a Montgomery, Alabama jail cell from the Civil Rights era
  • That horrible neck brace will the bells on it that you sometimes see in illustrations found in books on slavery.

What would happen if black males all over the nation requested that they be given their former chains and handcuffs so that they could be donated to the Smithsonian as a testament  to the record incarceration rates of black men in America.  Surely, 50 years…100 years from our children would marvel at the shear size of the collection of metal bonds.  Would they be amazed and say, “There’s no way that so many people of one race could have been accused of/guilty of that much crime!”.  Or perhaps they will just shake their heads and say, “Nothing has changed.”.

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Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, black men, civil rights, crime, d.c., history, injustice, news, race, washington dc

Did the General steal Pants on the Ground from another old rapper?

Oh my Buddha!  I can’t believe “the General”, of American Idol fame, stole his “Pants on the Ground” song from some other old rappers.  Well, now those old hip hoppers have posted their original song to YouTube (watch it below).  We should have known.  He sounded like he barely knew his own song, but I think people just chalked it up to alcohol.  I know I did.

I think the original, “Back Pockets on the Floor”, is even funnier.  It’s at least more complete…lyric wise.  My favorite line from the song is, “Ain’t no way in the world/ that a man’s crotch/ could be that low!”  Oh, I’m still cracking up right now as I’m typing this.

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Sen. Reid’s remarks: light-skinned with no Negro dialect

Negro dialect?  Really Senator Harry Reid?  Just because you mean well doesn’t mean your comments were not racially insensitive.  If you’re dark-skinned with a negro dialect…guess you’ll never be elected.  Bright=right, huh?

Democrats continue to close ranks behind Sen. Reid after the book “Game Change” revealed that he made comments suggesting that Barack Obama could become the first African-American president because he was “light-skinned” and because he did not speak with a “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”  Reid has apologized, but the right is milking this situation for all it’s worth and calling for him to step down.

In this situation I feel that what is said has been said and there is no good excuse.  There is a lot wrong with Reid’s remarks.  Blacks shouldn’t give him a pass, and Democrats shouldn’t either.  He shouldn’t the spokesperson for the Dems, anymore than Trent Lott should be the spokesperson for Republicans.  If he going to see any real repercussions? Perhaps when he’s up for re-election.

We should hold politicians to a higher standard and sometimes you don’t get a second chance after you put your foot in your mouth.  Joe Biden is the exception to that rule, the Dems can’t afford to have more than one loud mouth who doesn’t think before he speaks.  That’s what the Republicans and Fox news are for.

The NY Times makes some great points:

Supporters of Mr. Reid said the Reid and Lott situations were also different because of what they say is Mr. Reid’s unimpeachable record on civil rights. They mentioned Mr. Reid’s support from black leaders across the country as well as his efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and Nevada’s gambling industry. Mr. Lott’s record was more mixed, and included, among things, his previous opposition to making the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday and his vote against the Voting Right Act as a member of Congress.

“They are not in the least bit comparable,” said Lani Guinier, the Harvard Law School professor whose nomination as assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1993 was pummeled by conservative groups and eventually withdrawn by President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Lott’s remarks, Ms. Guinier said, seemed to be expressing nostalgia for the segregationist platform of Mr. Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign, while Mr. Reid comments seemed to be addressing “an unfortunate truth about the present.” That truth, she said, is that Mr. Obama would have had a more difficult time getting elected if his skin were darker and if he spoke in a dialect more identifiable as “black.”

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