Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Excellent Pick For The Court But

For all the reasons that have been stated by the Obama Administration, Judge Sonia Sotomayor is an excellent choice for the Supreme Court. However, when the President has another choice to the Supreme Court, as I have stated before, he should look outside of Washington and New York. And he should look at a lawyer with State Court experience as a trial lawyer or Judge.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wanda Land At The White House

Keith Olberman and others believe Wanda Sykes crossed the line with several of her jokes at the White House Correspondence Dinner. Now ain't that the pot calling the kettle black? Olberman cited Sykes' jokes about Rush Limbaugh and 9/11 and even Sykes' reference to the president as a mulatto as being in poor taste.

First of all, Wanda absolutely killed and I have no doubt her routine will be viewed in the future as classic political satire. Second, Sykes did not joke about 9/11, she made fun of Rush Limbaugh. The American public has shown, again and again, that it really is populated by a lot of grown-ups and it can tell the difference. There is not a person I talked with Monday morning who was not still cracking up as they recanted the best lines of the night.

The problem is: white elites are the ones who still have the power to tell us what is acceptable or not. If they don’t get the punch line, then it is not "proper."

Black comedy, by nature, is edgy. It replaced Jewish comedy in that department about 35 years ago, when a young comic savant named Richard Pryor burst onto the scene.

Even President Obama's performance Saturday night brought some of that edge from the street. His ragging on Michael Steele was a classic example. When America elected a black president, it also brought a new cultural sensibility front and center. The one thing that is quite evident about the Obamas is that culturally, they are unabashedly and unapologetically black.

Olberman should have been more outraged that Ms Sykes appearance marked the first time a black female gay comedian had headlined the event. Do you think her appearance had anything to do with new guy in the White House?

The point that Olberman and others missed is that Wanda Sykes was damn funny and that is the true test of a joke. You could hear the tension in the room as the guests tried their best not to laugh. As Wanda said “you laughing inside.”

Monday, May 11, 2009

I knew Hollywood Could Do It

I knew that Hollywood could produce a black movie about criminals that was not stereotypical, insulting and made you shudder at the 21st century minstrel show images on the screen.

Next Day Air is funny, smart, and not one second of its frame is insulting, even though the main characters rob drug dealers for a living. They actually steal from their cousin. Yet, these are not one dimensional jigaboos, but multi-faceted human beings. One of the most hilarious moments in the movie is when one of the characters sits on a commode, prasing God for an unexpected delivery of 10 kilos of cocaine.

Now that Hollywood has shown it can handle the drug culture, how about it take a shot at a romantic comedy or a serious drama, with substantive themes. And the movie cannot have one preacher, pimp, barber shot chatter or feature Tyler Perry in a starring role. Just some beautiful brown people portraying love and pain in-the-black.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An American Hero

"The Master of Life has appointed this place for us
to light our fires, and here we shall remain"
-Tecumseh (Shawnee)

PBS has been airing over the last several weeks on American Experience an extraordinary story of Native Americans systematic decimation by European migration into the heartland of North America. Rather than being a depressing story of the total destruction of a people and its culture, it is just the opposite. The defining moment of our humanity is how we respond to the overwhelming threat to our existence, even when fate has cast an end to that very existence.

The story of Tecumseh and his creation of a Pan-Native American Movement to stem European aggression is one of the most heroic and moving stories in American history. I urge you to watch the entire series at PBS.Org, however, the story of Tecumseh is required television at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain/the_films/episode_2_trailer