Saturday, July 21, 2018

Class and Privilege: Free to Be Anything and Say Everything.

Recent evidence in social humanism has been presented in ways to shock or provoke concepts that force people to expand their thinking or revoke extreme ridiculousness.  
In normal circumstances, persons of social influence who are in the spotlight hold the weight of certain moral responsibility base on their public behavior and speech that may potentially influence masses in behaviors that are unpopular and possibly offensive even if 'only kidding.'  

Thank you, Janelle Money, I mean Janelle MonáeRobinsonfor introducing Pan-Sexuality.  
Ms. Monae did not give her definition of the term ‘pan-sexuality.’ She [Janelle] simply explained to Rolling Stone Magazine, " I consider myself to be a 'free' individual."   Hmmm. 

So, let’s attempt to interpret pansexuality.  Pan applies to the term everything, all; and therefore, sexuality as a preoccupation with sexual matters can mean anything and all things the individual wants is applied to sexuality. Perhaps beyond semantics in this case, Monae is referencing it as a metaphor for simply being 'free to being sexual towards anyone and everything including all forms of sexuality, genders, trans et al.  'Well, success and money certainly can facilitate such sentiments. After all, who doesn't want to feel free to be and do anything or feel free enough to be or say anything. Let's examine Kanye. 

Kanye has been in the top ten of most popular rap artists over last ten years. Here is a man, who probably believes he has come full swing in life with his new-found family, the Kardashians and his sister-mother-in-law Caitlyn Jenner, who possibly is the freest of Americans to do and say whatever money can buy. Henceforth, white male with all the freedom and power that law can provide as set forth since 1776.  A freedom foregone in exchange to have white girl power as an openly transgender whose made his choice visible to the public eye of acceptance.   Nonetheless, Kanye apparently believes that he too has the same freedoms and entitlements as his Kardashian social mega media Republican family.  

Kanye as his wife Kim has made public her support of Donald Trump’s leadership as President including having somewhat a personal and private connection to him.  Trump, who is known for overt racist, sexist, Xenophobic comments also encourages the emboldened attacks on persons of color which have spiked since his presidency.    Kayne emulates Trump when he makes uneducated comments such as his surprise appearance on TMZ that went viral.  West is unaware that his misinformed ramblings about the history of black enslavement was a choice of those enslaved shows blatant ignorance mirroring Trump’s belief that Frederick Douglas living today.

Kanye is blinded by his own self-righteous an unaware that he is nothing more than a self-hating fool; like the character played by Samuel Jackson in Django.  Because Kanye has been accepted in the white world of the rich and famous; yet lost in the sunken place.  He does not realize that he is not Bruce Jenner, formerly an unhappy white male who had all privileges and entitlement to change his sex and gender to become Caitlyn. 

Kanye is not Kim nor Donald Trump nor did he grow up as they did. Being free doesn’t mean 
forgetting where you come from in acknowledging your success today. It’s true that money changes people; particularly the weak.   He is not as savvy as Jonell Monáe to make your statement short and be as non-political as possible.  It is not his forte. He needs to stick to his ‘happy quirky’ current life achievements and condition and stay far away from commentary on black history and politics.  

Class and privilege in America is a result of new money or grandfathered by white entitlements, trusts and inheritance built on the backs of slaves.  Be free Kanye with your new money and rich white Kardashian family; free to say whatever and voice your opinion about your black ancestors who were enslaved by choice.   Meanwhile, don't let your delusional O.J. freedom your ass kicked to the curb, because as soon as you f*k up your freedom shall quickly turn on you.  Then you will remember what it means to be black in American under the foot of class and privilege. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Run Oprah Run

Why I think Oprah should run for president. Color Purple, #METOO and that election speech at the Golden Globe Awards!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Faith and Hope To Change Our World

July 4th launched what was supposed to be a week of celebration in America, ended after three days of unforgettable tragedy. On July 5th the world witnessed the senseless death Alton Sterling, an African-American male in Baton Rouge, Louisiana selling music CD’s outside a convenience store. July 6th before the media, Quinyetta McMillian who was the mother of Alton’s five children stood emotionally ripped with their fifteen-year-old son Cameron the oldest child who was so distraught that he covered his face sobbed and eventually collapsed into the arms of an older man who stood behind him. I was angry at the thought of Eric Garner who was killed for selling loose cigarettes. The news was too upsetting. These two men were fathers in a country that does not entitle African-American males to economic justice. Like many black males, they earned income from meager hustles of cigarettes and CDs. 

In less than twenty-four hours, the two-days of recorded tragedy witnesses by the world left most of us in shock and in detrimental anguish to the point of hostile anger, my gut knotted and my heart was ripped apart at the evening news at yet another inexcusable death of an African-American man in St. Paul, Minnesota. Philando Castile, an innocent man was shot four times by police while sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle as his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds sat in the driver’s seat streaming in real-time on social media. The world watched him bleed to death and take his last breath as Reynold's four-year-old daughter sat in the back seat of the targeted vehicle just inches from the discharging fire arm. Not only was this further evidence of how black and people of color are treated in the hands of police officers, but it speaks to the systemic racism, often inexcusable brutality and extreme violence that have heightened levels of distrust towards police departments since the beating of Rodney King. July 7th, again the world watches the news as media captures another torrid visual account of a shooting. The two incidents were too much to take-in. Sitting on my couch safe inside in Oakland, California, I thought of all the victims in recent years, Oscar Grant, Trevon Martin to name a few. I watch the news in horror and wept. 

July 7, 2016 – people are protesting in cities across the nation, including Oakland. Later that evening the news reported that a lone sniper gunman targeted white police officers at a protest in Dallas killing 5 and wounding 11. The sniper was 25-year-old Micah Johnson, a former army reserve and 6-year veteran who served in Afghanistan. Johnson had succumbed to severe hatred citing in a written statement that he was retaliating and wanted to hurt white people and white police office in particular. He already gave up on life. Johnson's actions were an extremist suicidal warfare tactic driven by hatred and retaliation similar to the incident in 2013, when former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner, both with a mission to kill as many white police officers. Dorner was a Political Science graduate from Southern University of Utah also served in the military as a Naval reservist. Micah and Donner, both African-American males were driven by similar motives of racism may have suffered from extreme forms of PTSD, (Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder) combined with other disorders' namely Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome at the highest and more critical stages that can result in psychosis of disabling hatred followed by violent behavior. This recognition is absolutely not an excuse for violence towards police officers or anyone. However, we should not become negligent to any extreme signs or trigger of hatred caused by racism or rant coming from someone. 

Sunday July 10, 2016, I visited Imani Church in Oakland for the first time to be with people in the heart of the community and to help restore my faith and hope in humanity. Like protesters, I too felt outraged upon the deaths of the two men but deeply saddened by all the deaths and violence. Dr. George C.L. Cummings, Senior Pastor told the congregation that he was lost of words, as he sniffled throughout. He announced, “I cannot not stop crying. Today, we are not going to have our usual service. We are taking our faith beyond the church walls and walk in unity to protest against police brutality and murder of black and brown citizens.” After the tithing, band began playing and the church the choir stood clapping in unity and singing in harmony “What’s Going On.” 

I ask, which is the more dangerous occupation: A black male selling loose cigarettes and CDs, or police officer? Is this what we want young Cameron to think or the four-year-old daughter of Ms. Reynolds to fear the sight of a police officer because it is associated with imminent death? We have to save our children and leave them with hope for the future. We need to stop all forms of racism, bigotry and economic injustice to avoid our children from suffering from future Post-traumatic slave syndrome.   

The congregation of black and white, young and old gathered outside most wearing tee shirts and carrying signs that read 'Black lives matter' walked in unisom down Mac Arthur Blvd in peaceful protest.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clutter Turns Into Colletion: A Walk Down Memory Lane with 45 LP's, Menus and Matches.

Every two years or if in a good mood every year the household needs a more than just a bit of spring cleaning. I've been in my condominium for eight years and it feels like I have accumulated enough items for a family of five and it's only me. Every place I've lived for the last twenty or so years, I've hauled along a past filled with memories even though I've had no intention to look at them until now. In my closet stacked to the ceiling where six crates of vinyl records, some of which belonged to my mother and some from incidental inheritance. These albums represented the evolution of rhythm and blues to soul music beginning with the early 60's through the 80's. Artist that represented almost forty years of artistic richness during the undercurrents of social movements such as the Civil Rights to black power to soul power with new artist such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Issac Hayes, Barry White, James Brown, Lamont Dozier, Luther Vandross, The Main Ingredient, Ray Charles, Jr. Walker and the All Stars. Jazz and Funk concerts were bountiful with performing artists and groups of musicians and bands like Sly and the Family Stone, Earth, Wind and Fire who filled grand stages at the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theatre. If you were lucky, you saw great acts like Gil Scot Heron, Roy Ayers or even the Last Poets at smaller venues such as the Whiskey A-Go-GO or the Troubadour. There were bands and musicians that actually played instruments packed the arenas and rocked the stages such as Ronnie Laws or Patrice Rushen. A phenomena rarely seen today. Then there were the vocal stylist of Al Jarreau, Sade, Tina Marie who set souls in flight. When I picked up My walk down memory lane led me to a modern discovery of an online website called Discog to list all of my albums and post them for sale. Click here to view more . This site is useful for cataloging vinyl records, CD's and tapes based on country of print, studios, year of release, promotional copies to rare releases. As the account manager, you rate the quality of the copy based on the condition of the media and the packaging. The site will also show how many copies are requested and the number listed for sale as well as the low to high sell prices. In the search box, you type in the name of the artist and then locate the record. Often there is a media playback for each song on the album that sends you into a deeper into the memory forest. Deep in a box under the stack of albums to a pleasant surprise, I discovered a well kept collection of menus and old matches from many popular and extinct Los Angeles eateries. The Sports Deli was a restaurant in Century City above the Schubert Theatre at the time Beatle Mania was playing. There were a couple from a clothing store called War Babies and Nunn Bush Brass Boots. Other matches represented nightclubs that reminded me of the early boom of Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood in late 70's to 80's. There were matches from popular black owned nightclubs around L.A from Hollywood to a Baldwin Hills where a row of nightclubs populated a stretched along Crenshaw Boulevard the Leimert Park district. Each match released a flood of memories; dejavu. I recalled the time when I was under twenty-one when I would hang out with a group of my girls from high school. As partners in crime. We would show up with fake ID to places such as the Speakeasy, the Candy Store that was owned by Jane Kennedy and Leon Issac and the Total Experience. I found matches from Page One; the ever more popular profile for players and pros. Back towards a more esteemed city of West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Bel Air were matches from hotels and a pack I took from Sammy Davis Jr.'s home in Hollywood Hills (that's another story). Sometimes, amongst clutters you can find gems that are priceless memories that no amount of money can buy.