Monday, June 30, 2008

When Black People Are Offended

In April 2008, MSNBC aired a show in which a young African American film maker David B. Wilson asked “What’s wrong with black people?” Hmmmm. My first thought was to ponder about the producers of this show and about the discussions and meetings that occurred to convince the station directors (which many would call liberal media) to dare air a program as such. In my mind, the responses began surfacing and my answers were so numerous and automatic as though they had been burrowing for the last thirty years just waiting for someone to ask me this question. I had to pause my own thoughts long enough to focus on the programming in which the producer asked people from various races to respond.

How amazing that the race topic and being black in America has gained more prevalence since now that Barack Obama, an African American is running for presidency. CNN is airing show Black in American

On April 12 2008, the Wichita NAACP posted a commentary by Kevin Miles, president of a Wichita chapter of the NAACP who also moderates a web form asking ‘Why have black people gone mad,’ addresses the same rhetorical question in his commentary which feature a controversial photo of African American Comedian Katt Williams sporting a ornamental noose to accessorize his pink pimp suit.

Oh – Kheeh, funny for some and not so funny for others. While the comedian utilized this ego-grabbing spotlight to mark his entrance on the red carpet that will be frozen in time, he provoked conversations such as ‘What’s wrong with black people.’ And remember he is a..let me spell it for you a..C O M E D I A N, and not a social-political spokesperson for blacks. I have to believe that this was a publicity stunt done for shock value. This photo received much attention, not just in mainstream media but in also in African American intellectual online community African American Opinion BlogSpot.

Nonetheless, Katt W. followed up on the controversy by making an appearance on CNN segment “Coming Out.” offering little explanation for his reasoning. Having met the comedian a few pre-Hollywood years ago, I was a bit disappointed. Like many other supporting fans of black entertainers, I too wanted some profound brilliant comedic explanation. One blogger questioned ‘should I be offended by Katt Williams?’ My question to him would be, should I be offended by black people?

There may be 365 justifiable reasons for all of these questions with one answer for each day of the year (what’s wrong with black people; have black people gone mad; and should I be offended by Katt Williams?) Perhpas what's wrong is when people remove the ability to be objective thinkers; to be able to have open civil dialogue that abandons the often primitive self-hating foul-mouth bitterness coming from damaged and sour souls of people as seen in the anonymous commentary on previous blog. While some of us pride our tonque-cursed gifts of making personal attacks on each other, many others hide behind so-called self-proclaiming godly doctrines of condemnation while being hypocritical and failing to have the capability to engage in a balanced dialogue to discuss and resolve our own issues. Clearly everyone that is black is not capable of engaging in a mindful dialogue, just as any other race of people, but we put far too much responsibility and creditability on entertainers. I don’t care if it is Chris Rock, Dave Chappell or even lil Katt Williams; slap-stick, skit comedy or buffoonery, entertainers entertain. We may laugh, frown, disagree or turn off the TV and read a book, but we should be able chuckle and be open to have a discussion or know when something is just plain stupid.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ode to Katt (In Da Hat) Williams, Bigger Than Life

What are the odds that someone you knew; perhaps went to school with, either you or someone you knew dated, and then one day you look up on the silver screen and 'bam' there's that person.....bigger than life? Well that happened to me in 2002 when I went to see the hit comedy sequel 'FRIDAY AFTER NEXT' staring Ice Cube and Mike Epps. About a quarter into the move a new character was introduce; Money Mike.
OMG! It was Katt Williams. I was sitting in the theatre with who was my husband at the time when the next thing in knew I had blurted out, "I used to date him." My husband immediately responded, "My gawd woman, don't tell mi you dated dat. Dat funny lickle mon ugly." Now, mind you that I was too busy laughing in amazement. I replied, he's not ugly just short. Under my breath I added, 'the ring on your finger once belong to that ugly bombaclaat.'

When I left the theatre, I thought about lil' Katt. I thought about how funny and charming he was, and also how he pissed me off when borrowed my brand new Tony Tone Toni CD 'House of Music' and never gave it back along with my brand new Bolero hat I had just purchased during a trip to Boston. He was good for s*@## like that.

He was a struggling artist when we met. He was extremely secret, he read a lot of books, but he was also a chronic liar. He didn't have a car or a pot to piss in. Katt was sleeping on a guys couch that he called his manager claiming it was actually his place but he was helping out his friend who was down on his luck. Katt had a side job cleaning houses for a maid service like Molly Maids. I recall hanging out with him at local gigs.
I'd pick him up and bring him to my place where I'd feed him and listen to music. He once told be that he only at once a day, after sundown. I asked, "Are you a muslim?" He told me, "No, I just think it is a good to be discipline," which really mean't 'I'm broke as hell lady, I can only afford to eat once a day."

So one eveining I picked him up after a gig, I offered to cook him a hamburger. He excitedly jumped on the side of my high bed with his feet dangling saying, "oh boy, she gonna make me a hamburger." He'd always keep me laughing. I made his hamburger of which he ate every little finger licking drop then offerd him some home-made lemon pie. I watched him take the first 3-4 bites of the pie saying how good it was until his face suddenly went from a joyful grin to a serious smirk. His eyes bucked and slowly rolled them at me. I asked, "what's the matter?" I watched him pull something from between his teeth. Oh my god, it was my finger nail! While I was grating lemon peels, my nail was also gratted and had fallen in the pie mix. It just so happend to have landed in a section that was ill-marked for Katt. The look on his face was so hillarious. While attempting to aplogize, I laughed so hard until I was in tears. He wasn't laughing, "I'll just be damn. She put a goddamn finger nail in pie and then offered it to me. Ain't that a bitch. I'll have to use that shit."

It has been about ten years since I last saw him. The last thing he did was have me drop him off in Berkeley the day before he was leaving for a gig in Reno. We sat in my car for a while and talked. Before getting out of the car, he took off his little gold ring with about 4-5 micro diamond chips (you needed a magnifying glass to see them) and gave it to me. What was that about??? Although I thought his behavior peculiar, I never tripped on it. Soon afterwards he headed to Los Angeles and was heard from no more. I was pissed for a few months and just said, 'oh well, what the hell.' Guess the cleaning comedian finally hit pay dirt. Right on KW.

In the months after Katt moved to LA, since I had not heard from him I sat and wrote this little fable dedicated to him called 'Ms. Mackadoo.' This is simply a funny tale of don't take it too seriously....Its comedy folks.

Tale of Ms. Mackadoo (Ode to Katt Williams) ©1997

Once there was a lady
Who was so all alone,
She felt a little crazy,
She had no one to call her own.

Friendly and well traveled,
Everyone knew Miss Mackadoo
In spite her talents and the people she knew
Without love she knew not what to do.

So in the mirror she decided to take a good look,
To assess all the reason why she couldn't get hooked
Emerald eyes, toasted skin,
A braid in her hair,
Polite words, charmed manners,
Decent and fair,

She said to her self,
"It's all O.K. as far as I can see,
I just haven't search high and low,
So tonight I'll hit the streets, put a short skirt, my Bolero
And give it go!"

So out she ventured, one mystical evening
Into a Cabaret she roamed,
Captivated by a Katt's meow
She decided to take him home

She served him well
With love and affection
Fed him warmth and comfort,
The pleasures of her chest

His tongue explored her fully
In quiet and sensuous expeditions,
He suckle, lick, digest,
Cuddle then slept upon her breast

He painted intimate portraits,
Sexed and teased til her mind was blown
Several months of ecstasy she exploded saying, "Pussy Katt,
Pussy Katt, I want you for my own."

"Mr. Honey Katt", she'd say, "I know you are use to nights in the streets a life unstable and gray,
Far from responsibility,
I'm afraid you may me leave some day."

Mr. Katt replied, "My dear, dear, dear Miss Mackadoo
You're much too special you see
I am lucky that someone like you
Loves someone like me.

She said, "I love you so Mr. Honey Katt,
I want to buy you some nice things
Let me show how much I appreciate you
And the joy that you bring."

So the very next day, whistling a happy tune
Off to shop she went for her new gent.
Returning home, Mr. Katt was gone, he took her heart, her Bolero
Not even leaving his scent.

Week's later Mr. Katt surfaced at the front door.
He appeared frail, weaken, downtrodden and poor

Announcing, "I didn't mean to hurt you,
I hope you understand
But I fell for you Miss Mackadoo
And that was not in my plans."

You see, I'm just an alley Katt,
The streets are all I know
I'm not used to commitments,
Just nightclub hootchies and cheap hos.

She replied, "You've been very, very bad Mr. Katt!
Maybe I will cut you some slack,
Prove to me that again you won't leave
And I'll consider taking you back!"

He curled up around her leg and rubbed up against her thighs
Purring and licking, he stroked her body until she cried,

"Oh, Mr. Honey Katt, Pussy Katt, Kitty Katt
You stole my trust, my love and left me all alone. But now I've got someone who treats me like a queen and I have given him a new home.
So scat you alley Katt, disguised as a rat in a hat.
Get on with your mix and your back of tricks
And please, don't ever come back

So remember young girls to stay away from the charmingly handsome and wicked stray.
He may have a kind work and a gentle greeting today
He may come out of an dark alley but say
"Hey pretty lady, I'm just from around the way."

This was a lesson that she well knew.
That's the tale of Ms. Mackadoo.