Friday, July 24, 2009

Blackman Survives the Apocalypse!

Every since Keith Wayne's character Tom survived the zombie onslaught in the original Night of the Living Dead, we had to wait another 30 years, to be consider survivors in any aftermath of societal breakdown. Tony Todd didn't quite make it in the remake, the good ole boys ended up getting him in the end. It took sometime for another brother to survive the meltdown.

Wil Smith was mankinds savior, and post apocalyptic survivor in I AM LEGEND. Now In another version of post-apocalyptic world, a lone hero Denzel Washington guards the Book of Eli, which provides knowledge that could redeem society. The despot of a small, makeshift town (Gary Oldman) plans to take possession of the book.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

With shows like the Real Housewives of ATL, Black In America 2 is the least of our problems!

After watching Black In America 2, I found most of the stories anecdotal, and Inspirational. I realize our issues are too complex to evaluate or discuss in four hour reporting segment, but its not programs like BIA2 that get my blood pressure up, its the foolishness that counts for reality television such as, Tiny and Toya, Crackheads are Us, the BET Awards and now another season of the The Real Housewives of Atlanta, you might think it’s easy to get wealthy African-Americans to talk about money. Now Bravo will burden us with the second season this fall of the reality program chronicling the conspicuous consumption of five well-off women who have ordained themselves among Atlanta’s elite. Four of the Housewives are African-American. You have to remember that these nouveau riche women on the show did not earn any of the money on their own so what do you expect. They married NFL and NBA players. Most of the players didn't have a good upbringing so why would you expect them to married somebody respectful anyway!

This show should hit a raw nerve amongst the black women's the way it continues to it perpetuates negative stereotypes with its focus on cat fighting women who shamelessly lord their wealth and generally misbehave. A particular sore point is the consistently egregious grammar the Housewives stars use.

Now I know many of us have issues with the Links, Jack & Jills, and other so called elitist groups, that wouldn't allow my black ass in anyway, but these organizations actually have real Atlanta Housewives, that perform charitable and philanthropic work, and would never debase themselves in this manner. In article from the Houston Chronicle last year, Houstonian Phyllis Williams, well-known for her philanthropic work, recalled flipping channels on her television on Election Night — from the historic speech of President-Elect Barack Obama to a Real Housewives episode in which two wealthy women learn to let loose on a stripper pole.

“I was appalled,” she said. “This is not what elite women are about.”

The women on the show, she said, are shallow, graceless and mean.

“They eat and breathe money and clothing,” Williams said. In one episode, queen of mean Sheree Whitfield drops $6,000 on a private shoe-shopping spree in her living room; in another, Kim Zolciak, the show’s only white cast member, calls her sugar daddy “Big Poppa” to request $68,000 cash so she can buy a Cadillac Escalade on the spot.

Despite — or perhaps because of — the furor surrounding the show, few Atlanta women were willing to talk about it with the local media. When a reporter struck out to get a peek into what life is really like for the city’s black elite, she was met with polite no-thank-yous and snarky voicemails but mostly unreturned phone calls.

Merele Yarborough, another prominent woman in charitable fund-raising circles who has been featured on the Chronicle’s annual Best Dressed list, politely declined to throw open her closet doors for public inspection. She found what she saw on Housewives troubling and hopes it reflects the slant of the producers. “I was disappointed by the way these characters were portrayed,” she said. “I’m praying they are not like that. They are like children in a candy store. They’ve been given all this money. It’s almost like the blind leading the blind.” Money is a touchy subject for most people, but for some affluent African-Americans there’s an added layer of self-consciousness about how the black community is portrayed. They worry that too much bling reinforces the public’s worst perceptions.

“I’m just hoping that most people don’t look at this show and think that every wealthy black woman is like this,” said Williams. Like their old-money counterparts in the Anglo community, the black elite are quiet about their wealth and would rather die than parade themselves showing off “ridiculous homes that resemble Potemkin villages,” said Lawrence Otis Graham, author of Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class. He labeled The Real Housewives as the “P. Diddy crowd,” who are “here-today-and-gone-tomorrow money.”
The black upper class, he said, doesn’t want the likes of them living in their neighborhoods, going to school with their kids and certainly not marrying into their ranks.

“These are not people who value education and true philanthropy,” said Graham, who lives with his wife and children in an apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan and on an estate in Chappaqua, near the home of former President Bill and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. “We don’t know people like them.” Like the women on the show, Williams admits to a love for fine clothes, exclusive vacations and fabulous handbags. She even plans to launch her own line of women’s golf clothing next year. But there’s more to life than shopping and parties, she said.
Williams said she prefers to be known for her work sitting on the boards of such child-focused nonprofits as Chuck Norris’ Kickstart Foundation. “I don’t like talking about money,” she said. “We just feel blessed, At the end of the day, we’re just regular people.”

This is the image of Black Women being beam out to the world, and we wonder why the intial suspicious of our first lady. The purpose of these shows and to continue to degrade and demonize us to the rest of the world. Where is the choir of protest!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kids shunned at Philadelphia swim club get trip to Disney World thanks to actor Tyler Perry!

To all the do nothing Tyler haters, you know who you are...complain about what other Black people arent doing, and you dont volunteer in community, dont support Black institutions or business in any charitable manner whatsoever, but have plenty of time to complain about the ill treatment of Black folks at the hands of White folks!

Well, Tyler Perry will pay for the trip to Walt Disney World after reading about allegations that a swim club shunned 65 children from a Philadelphia day camp because of racism. Creative Steps director Alethea Wright says she's thrilled about the offer, especially because Perry "comes from humble beginnings" like the children in her camp.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

GAY Will Never be the New Black !

Unless you are Black and Gay, you are marginalize from two communities! But like most White People in general, I don’t think the gay community really understands this. Several years ago I ask a Gay colleague that carpooled with me, about White and Black Gay relations, he advised that they were no different than straight race relations with Whites; they still adhered to White Supremacy, and believe that they were better than Blacks.

Despite the catchiness of the slogan, gay is not the new black. Black is still black. White Gays are a powerful influential group. To suggest that their plight is like ours is to discount the suffering of the million of Africans who died in the Trans Atlantic slave trade, and the historical legacy of slavery, segregation, and domestic terrorism, that Black people experience and are still suffering from effects in current day America.

Is reminds me a film I saw about five years ago called Flag Wars. Which is a candid, unvarnished portrait of privilege, poverty, and local politics that was taking place across many Black Communities across America!

Linda Goode Bryant and Laura Poitras' Flag Wars is account of competing economic interests between two historically oppressed groups, seen through the politics and pain of gentrification. This story takes place in Columbus, Ohio. Black residents, working-class or poor and often elderly, fight to hold on to their homes and heritage. Realtors and gay home-buyers see the enormous, often run-down homes as fixer-uppers. The inevitable clashes expose prejudice and self-interest.

Many of the White Gays featured in this film, didn’t see that they were engaging in the same exploitative and bias behavior, that they themselves are convinced that they are the victims of.

These Stories we wont see on Black In America 2!

My thanks to Star-Ledger's James Queally for chronicling the story on Black Wall Street in Newark, and Nigel Parry with the New York Times. I had difficulty goggling this story after seeing it on ABC News, Black Street started by Victor Baker, Hassan Keith and Jeffrey Montgomery at a time when good economic news is scarce, it's encouraging to hear about three young businessmen, all Rutgers alumni, staking a claim to the future in Newark's West Ward. There company has been constructing houses on five empty lots on South 9th Street between 11th and 12th avenues. Is a quasi green construction company rebuilding homes for African Americans in blighted Newark, NJ. The company described how the trio plans to serve working families in need of affordable housing with five duplex-style homes. These three men are making a difference in there respective community.

After seeing snippets of the upcoming Black in America 2, that appeared to be upbeat and inspirational, but we will see on Wednesday night once the entire segment is telecasted. I wanted to mention an individual whose efforts in the green/urban farms movement needs to be heralded. Will FarmerWILL ALLEN already had the makings of an agricultural dream packed into two scruffy acres in one of Milwaukee’s most economically distressed neighborhoods.

His Growing Power organization has six greenhouses and eight hoophouses for greens, herbs and vegetables; pens for goats, ducks and turkeys; a chicken coop and beehives; and a system for raising tilapia and perch. There’s an advanced composting operation — a virtual worm farm — and a lab that is working on ways to turn food waste into fertilizer and methane gas for energy.

With a staff of about three dozen full-time workers and 2,000 residents pitching in as volunteers, his operation raises about $500,000 worth of affordable produce, meat and fish for one of what he calls the “food deserts” of American cities, where the only access to food is corner grocery stories filled with beer, cigarettes and processed foods.

For Mr. Allen, only the second working farmer to win the award, according to the foundation, his efforts are not meant simply to keep people well fed. He sees Growing Power as a way to organize people whose voices are rarely heard and to fight racism.

“I am a farmer first, and I love to grow food for people,” Mr. Allen said. “But it’s also about growing power.”

For 16 years, through sales, and proceeds from grants, he has extended Growing Power’s operations in Milwaukee and Chicago, spreading the gospel of urban farming around the world and training fellow agricultural dreamers.

An imposing 6 feet 7 inches tall, Mr. Allen, who grew up on a farm outside Washington, D.C., played professional basketball for a time after college, mostly in Europe. In 1993, he left a job with Procter & Gamble and bought a roadside farm in Milwaukee’s economically depressed north side — the last remaining registered farm in the city — and got local teenagers involved.

Now, along with its main farm in Milwaukee, Growing Power, a nonprofit group, has a 40-acre farm in a nearby town, and gardens throughout the city. The group also has operations in Chicago, including a garden at the Cabrini-Green housing project and urban farms in Grant and Jackson Parks.

In addition to retail sales at the Milwaukee headquarters, Growing Power sells to food co-ops, other retail stores and about 30 restaurants in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas.

The Growing Powers headquarters looks like a farm stand in need of a paint job and feels like a 1960s community center. Young and old mill about, shopping and waiting for a tour or a training session or a conference.

There is constant activity, with projects at various stages of completion. Mud-encrusted boots share space with pick-axes and pots of salad greens.

“It’s a crazy place,” Mr. Allen said.

As with any top-notch farmer, Mr. Allen takes special care with his soil. Using millions of pounds of food waste, his farm produces endless compost piles, which are then enriched by thousands of pounds of worms, essential to producing what he calls the highest quality fertilizer in the world.

“There are worms in every pot of soil and every tray of vegetables in this greenhouse,” Mr. Allen said.

His food, free of chemicals, tastes better, Mr. Allen said. “And that’s what the really good chefs understand.”

Paul Kahan, the chef and managing partner of the award-winning Chicago restaurants Blackbird and Avec, is one of the chefs who has been working with Mr. Allen’s organization.

“They are wonderful people and do some interesting things that fit in with what we are trying to do,” Mr. Kahan said. “We buy regular produce, such as tomatoes, but they do some things in particular that we really love: pea tendrils, baby beet greens, nasturtiums, baby mustard greens.”

Mr. Allen said he learned it all from his parents. “We’re having to go back to when people shared things and started taking care of each other,” he said. “That’s the only way we will survive.”

“What better way,” he mused, “than to do it with food?”

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pedro Espadas Albany Escapade!

Espada, a Democrat from the Bronx, had helped set this crazy chain of events into motion on June 8 by defecting to vote the Republicans into control of the State Senate—with Espada installed as Senate president, a heartbeat away from becoming governor. One week later, Senator Hiram Monserrate undefected back to the Democrats, effectively creating a tie between the parties. Fulmination and stasis have ruled ever since. He’s also skeptical about the spine of his new allies. “My Republican friends were in power for 40 years,” Espada says. “They don’t know how to do this, to engage in a street fight, to deal with this on the ground.” Espada knows how. He’s been scrapping since he was 16 and homeless. Now, at the age of 55, he is a sturdy five foot six and a meticulous dresser, dandily matching his pocket square with his tie.

Pedro Espada has been cast as the prime villain in the Albany mess—and he’s giving an amazing performance in a role he loves. Politics more than ever is a blood sport, and Espada, a former boxer, relishes playing the toughest guy in the room. If collateral damage is the 1.1 million kids in the city’s public-school system, or the thousands of tenants whose rents will soar, well that’s too bad. Espada has scores to settle.

He is not, however, without redeeming qualities: Espada, the founder of a network of medical centers, has delivered badly needed health care to his constituents. He raised $300,000 for a man struck by a subway train. And he has a dark charisma that complements his shrewd tactical mind. He needs all those skills. Espada has been dogged by investigations for more than ten years and is currently being scrutinized by both state attorney general Andrew Cuomo and Bronx district attorney Robert Johnson, who are trying to determine whether Espada violated campaign-finance laws and whether he actually lives in the Bronx district he represents. “He’s a little bit like Evita Perón,” says Liz Krueger, a Democratic state senator from Manhattan’s East Side. “Espada is always saying he’s ‘of the people,’ but he’s been stealing from the people as long as he’s been in office.”

Espada isn’t solely to blame for the Albany calamity. He’s being used by the Republicans, who are fighting a desperate rearguard action to hold on to power in the face of ominous electoral demographic changes, and by the powerful real-estate lobby, which is fending off regulatory reforms that would cost it millions.

Espada is also a product of a Bronx political culture where elected office is treated as a family fiefdom (a concept that’s not geographically or ethnically limited, of course) and multiple politicians are under investigation or indictment. He’s a creature, too, of an Albany system in which a handful of leaders have long dominated the real decision-making, so individual members grew adept at splitting up the spoils. Plus the Democrats are incompetent.

But Espada is a willing tool, and he’s an extreme example of the self-dealing dysfunction. He’s exploiting a particularly fraught moment, when Albany’s old leadership system has broken down and allowed legislators rare autonomy—which they’ve used to fight, endlessly, among themselves. And he’s taken a legitimate problem—the underrepresentation of Latino voters—and twisted it to his own purposes. “Pedro has no moral center whatsoever,” one Bronx Democrat says. “There is a fundamental difference between negotiating policy issues and horse-trading within the rules. Pedro is not within the rules. This is about self-aggrandizement. For him, this is about ‘What do I need?’ ”

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rise in Violent Racist Attacks

Sometimes I get the impression that we are experiencing a bad rendition of a Sci Fi B movie like They Live, when I hear Attorney and civil rights leader Morris Dees who co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama speak to the National Press Club. As featured speaker, he talked about his group’s legal efforts to hold certain groups accountable for violent acts committed by their members. Dees mentioned how often FOX channel is allowed to openly encourage these groups to commit acts of insurrection against the state. Why is it a surprise that White Supremacy and Militia groups would not make a comeback during the presidency of first elected Blackman, and economic downturn.

What I don’t understand, and Dees fail to discuss is why wont the FCC pull FOX channels license, especially when they incite assassinations plots against the president, the government could easily invoke the patriot act to shut these groups down, which of course would lend to these groups arguing that these are acts of a fascist state, as indicating in there racist tomes such as the turner diaries. Yet Dees went on to compare the Nation of Islam to these groups, I disagreed with Morris Dees about the NOI, the Islam of Islam’s criticism in the form of verbal attacks against the Jewish community, were based on exploitative relationship and egregious acts committed by the Jews against black folks.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

BET is now officially INC!

It its official, BET will now be known as INC, the ignorant ass nigga channel. Supposely, Black Entertainment Television (commonly referred to by its acronym B.E.T.) was an American cable network based in Washington, D.C. with a targeted audience of young black and urban audiences in the United States. Robert L. Johnson founded the network in 1980. Most of the original programming of the network comprised of rap and R&B music videos and urban-oriented movies and series, and expande to news programming, over the last ten years BET has devolved into the worst parody of Spike Lees Bamboozled!