Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trifling Ass Negroes

We have travelled far in the Diaspora. On January 20, 2009, we will offer the world what I hope is a truly transformative leader. But lurking in the shadows is the fact that as far we have come as a people, we got so very far to go.

This past week I sat in a tiny jail cell with a client. He pressed me hard on why I could not get him a better jail sentence than twelve years. I pressed back ‘It’s your past that has put you in this position. The two joints that you unsuccessfully tried to swallow are insignificant.” Angrily he pushed back, “But I paid you, I could have got a court appointed lawyer to get me 12 years”. That is always the signal to end the conversation. “What is it going to be, 12 years or life, it is what it is” stating with my most serious face.

Then with the sincerity of a five year-old he said” Mr. English I cannot go to jail, I have nine children” I must admit that as jaded as I have become about our prospects in the 21st century, I was floored.

This motherfucker is only 30 years-old and has nine children. This I know: He has never offered any of his children any financial support. He has never taken one to a park, or read a little one to sleep. He has never looked down from washing dishes and saw almond shaped eyes staring up at him with a smile so warm that it could thaw a glacier and spoke to her in whispered tones ‘what’s up baby girl.” This predatory surf fucker has just dropped nine lives in an inner-city Serengeti and walked away.

Unencumbered by any moral or emotional ties, injecting his off-springs -you raise children- was just some narcissistic bullshit. These nihilistic street predators are always looking for an edge.

He is not unique. In our inner cities, trifling Negroes like him grow like bacteria on an elephants’ ass. The damage that they are doing to their off-springs and our society is devastating. I take no pity that his daddy was as sad a motherfucker as he. You may not choose to be born in a ditch but you stay there out of your own accord.

All of us will not cross the River Jordan.

Return To Egypt

On February 16, 1861, Commissioner of the State of Louisiana, George Williamson speaking at the Texas Secession Convention stated: “The people of Louisiana would consider it a most fatal blow to African Slavery, if Texas either did not secede or having seceded should not join her destinies to theirs in a Southern Confederacy….The people of slave holding States are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African-slavery….With the social balance wheel of slavery to regulate its machinery, we may fondly indulge the hope that our Southern government will be perpetual. “

One Hundred Forty-Six years later, every week several thousand African-Americans including Judges and lawyers walk under the Confederate Flag and Monument on the Caddo Parish Court House lawn, that honors people like Williamson. Shreveport’s first black mayor Cedric Glover became chief propagandist for the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, when he signed a proclamation declaring April to be Confederate History Month. Can you imagine Nelson Mandela after having defeated Apartheid declared April to be Apartheid month?

Glover states that he is attempting to promote understanding of the “root cause of the conflict” What kind of understanding can you promote by joining those who are attempting to positively promote a war whose “root cause” was to enslave human beings. Who do you need to educate? Certainly not Black people, we live with the legacy of the Confederacy everyday of our lives.

If Glover wanted to promote understanding he would have followed the moral courage of University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, a son of the south, who recently declared it was time to remove the Confederate flag from his schools’ athletic events, by challenging the Caddo Parish Commission to take down that offensive relic that flies over a building of supposed Justice.

If Glover is indeed a “history buff” then he would have to know that the Generals whose statutes now sit on the court house lawn issued a standing order that any black soldier found in a Union uniform was to be shot on the spot. After a battle, confederate soldiers would walk among the wounded shooting black soldiers. It was such a horrendous policy, that white Union doctors would order that black soldiers wounded in battle be removed from the battle field first. The reason was that a wounded white soldier was more likely to be given medical attention and imprisoned rather than shot.

After the civil war and reconstruction, the same traitors who had declared war upon their country were given back control of the south and they and their prodigy began a hundred year reign of terror and forced apartheid on black citizens. Well into the mid 19th century lynching, a barbaric public ritual, was a common tool used to terrorize blacks. Among other indignities, Blacks were forced to take part in medical experimentations that are to heinous to mention in a newspaper.

Roger Anderson spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans stated the Klu Klux Klan “high jacked” their symbols. His movement and symbols got hijacked long before the Klan took up the cause.

Why would Glover give government sanction celebrating this sordid history?
History is about more than “visiting Civil War sites”. It’s about placing events into context and understanding the impact upon a nation and most importantly a people. Glover actions and statement lacked any historical context, and by aiding the Sons of the Confederate Veterans embarrassed the very people who lined up by the thousands in November to vote for him. They and the city deserved so much better from Glover.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Save The Babies

I listened to and read the corporate media’s analysis of Barack Obama’s father day speech. The analysis was that Obama had went to the Southside of Chicago and chastised black men as being irresponsible and that he did so to gain political points with white working class men. I listened to and read the snippets of his speech and I became a bit perturbed that the brother in his first speech to a black audience since capturing the nomination would use it as an opportunity to throw some of us under the bus, even if some of us needed to be. I thought his first speech to a black audience should have been thank you for the overwhelming and enthusiastic support we gave him over the last several months, not using us to gain political points.

So given my disappointment I thought I had better go to You Tube and listen for myself. I was wrong and the corporate media was certainly wrong. There is arrogance among white folks that they believe that everything that is said is meant for them. After listening to this extraordinary speech I have no doubt that Obama was not speaking to white America. This was a black man at the pinnacle of political power going back into his neighborhood to talk with his people about a serious issue facing us.

I know as an educated black man and the product of a single family, he has a heavy heart about fatherless families. I know this because my friends and I speak constantly of this generation of black men who through their lack of caring have brought shame on their children and our people.

I know this because one day in court a young man walked up to me and said “I am your nephew and I just wanted to introduce myself to you.” Stunned I allowed him to walk away without getting any contact information.

Even though I had nothing to do with this young man’s life, I feel ashamed. My brother is a worthless soul that has brought dishonor on my father by siring children and casting them to the Darwinian fate of so many black children. He robbed his son of the connection to his grandfather who drove a truck for forty years to take care of his six children and never once complained about the back breaking work. Because of my brother's behavior, my nephew's tether to the social fabric is tenuous and a difficult life of a man of color has been made even more difficult.

No, this speech was not for white folks. This was a serious, witty, deeply personal speech from a black man to black people challenging us as Chris Rock did several years ago to quit being “low expectation Negroes.”

This brother continues to amaze me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some People Can't Help Themselves

Some white folks just can’t help themselves. Fox News one of the most powerful media outlets in the world called Michelle Oboma, the likely next First Lady, a baby mama. Do you believe that Fox News would have called Cindy McCain a Stepford Wife? Where did that come from? It comes from the same place that Don Imus felt like he could call Rutgers players nappy headed whores. It comes from the arrogance of being in power and dominating a people decade after decade, generation after generation and you began to see them as less than you. In the end white folks feel like they can say anything about us.

You call a Princeton and Harvard educated lawyer, the wife of the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States a baby mama (i.e. an unmarried promiscuous ghetto mol). You do it to put her, and us in our place. You do it to remind us that even though you might be months away from the Presidency, we are still in charge, and we can say anything we want.

Even though Fox News apologized they will do it again. They always do, old habits are hard to break.

However, it doesn’t affect us anymore. As has been shown over the last several months, we have as Bob Marley so eloquently sang” flowered in this generation.”

Sunday, June 8, 2008

White Folks Are Something Else

What I would like understood as a black American is that black Americans loved and had faith in this country even when this country didn’t love and have faith in them, and that’s our legacy. Condoleezza Rice

The New York Times article “Where Whites Draw The Line” subtext is so blatantly racist that you would not expect it in America’s paper of record. The title and article suggest that white America has some built in right to determine how far blacks go in expressing their grievances. The Oppressor tells the Oppressed when and where it is appropriate to express himself. Even the pulpit on Sunday morning is now off limits.

But let’s not get it twisted. I reserve my right to continue to challenge the institutional racism that is ingrained in our system. White America does not dictate to black America when and where we state our grievances or when and how we petition for relief

What I found particularly troubling was Jessie Jackson Jr. comments that somehow our failure the last 40 years has been about language. Jackson insults his father by suggesting that between Martin Luther King and Barack Oboma, we have been deficient in how we communicate with white people. That only King and Oboma has figured it out.

First of all that is historically inaccurate. King died on a balcony despised by white America and abandoned by much of the black leadership. It was his language that had caused the rift. In condemning the Vietnam War King called America the “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. The New York Times that now seeks to recast King as a comforter of white folks, called his speech an “error.”

Only a slave would mute his right to demand equality in order to curve favor from the Slave master and we ain’t no slaves. Niki Giovanni said “we always need someone in society who will call a motherfucker a motherfucker.”

The nomination of Barack Oboma does not relieve America of its responsibility to resolve the continuing conflict between its founding principles and its behavior over the last 200 years. To his credit Oboma has consistently stated that his political career grants America no such pass.

I am proud of Barack Oboma. I am voting for him to be President of the United States, not to free black people, or codify our grievances. I understand that he is seeking to be President of all the people. He sees Martin Luther King’s American dream. Many black Americans see Malcolm’s American nightmare. As James Cone in Martin and Malcolm and American Dream or a Nightmare wrote, it is a vision of nuances not a chasm.

It is that duality in which our greatness has been defined but also our dysfunction.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


HISTORY WAS MADE. Three speeches and this is what I saw. Barack Oboma is the one, a generational leader for the 21st Century. John McCain is sweet old man and he is going to get the shit beat out of him. Hilary Clinton will more than likely be the VP. She has a strong case that she has earned it. But she ain't got no class.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

You Watching Mama

I thought about my mother tonight. I lost her ten years ago. Along with the overwhelming grief of losing my mama. I was angry. I kept thinking what a waste. This incredibly bright and driven woman who was born 40 years too early, into a country that saw her no more than a serf. I thought about how our mama’s brought us to this day. I wish she would have been here to see this incredible man, sitting on the cusp of leading this incredible country. Tonight I knew that my mama’s life, our mama's life has not been in vain.

You watching mama.