Friday, July 30, 2010

Music Showcase - Tiye Phoenix

I'm really sick and tired of hearing about Nicki Minaj. Take it away Tiye....


Question: Why put a music link on your blog? Answer: Because radio sucks. Listen to individuals/groups that should be on radio.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Did you know about the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation?

While at last month’s Blogging While Brown Conference, I met Muriel Hairston-Cooper from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Mrs. Hairston-Cooper is the Senior Media Manager for the organization. Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit, nonpartisan public policy, research and educational institute. They complete their mission by building a bridge between legislators, business leaders, minority-focused organizational leaders, and organized labor to bring change to African American communities. They also provide scholarships and internships to African American students. The organization is supported by fundraising events and corporate underwriting. What I distinctly remember about our conversation, was how insistent she was in explaining that they are separate from the Congressional Black Caucus.

And because of a New York Times article from earlier this year, it’s not a surprise that she feels the need to make the distinction. The article talked about how the “Congressional Black Caucus” was a money making powerhouse. The article alluded to the organization raising tons of money and not using it for its intended purposes. If you never knew anything about this organization, you would have thought they were gaming the system based on what you read. The writer of the article lumped all the CBC’s (i.e. Congressional Black Caucus Institute, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and Congressional Black Caucus) together and in doing so made them one entity. I asked Mrs. Hairston-Cooper if they ever tried to get the situation cleared up. She said they sent a letter to the New York Times telling them to look at their IRS Tax Form 990 (form for tax-exempt organizations). She said they told them that their story was accurate and they were sticking to it. I didn’t laugh on the phone when she told me this because I didn’t want to offend her. But the mainstream media isn’t into accuracy (a la Shirley Sherrod). I’m pretty sure the NY Times has better resources to obtaining organizational records. So if they wanted to they could do their due diligence.....if they wanted to.

Side Note: I googled the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and 990 Tax Form. See here.

I asked Mrs. Hairston-Cooper if this incident has taught her organization anything. She told me that it made them more aggressive in telling their story. The organization spent roughly $700.000 for last year’s Annual Legislative Conference. The money was used for catering costs such as their prayer breakfast and luncheons. The money they raised went to their internship program and fellowships. These programs involve room, board and stipends.

Side Note: You can see their interns first hand in the upcoming September issue of Ebony Magazine.

In 2008, the CBCF came to Charlotte, NC with their Black Health Empowerment Project Tour. The theme of the tour was “Eat, Move and Test for Health.” The tour educated African American’s on the chronic diseases that come from being overweight. Obesity is a big (no pun intended) problem that many American’s have. From conversations I hear often, obesity seems to be a prevalent condition with black folks. One fellow blogger talked about how it was an ongoing problem with black women (via their perception). Even First Lady Michelle Obama has taken up the fight for healthy eating. I don’t agree with every black organization that claims to have my best interests at heart (I’m talking about you NAACP!!!). But I do appreciate when organizations take the time out to explain what they stand for. That is something that I have respect for because some people won’t do that much. Please feel free to check out the CBCF website for more information.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Comic Con 2010 'Tron Legacy' Trailer

And you can’t have an action movie without a video game.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Music Showcase - Alternative Artists

Question: Why put a music link on your blog? Answer: Because radio sucks. Listen to individuals/groups that should be on radio.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh…poor Shirley Sherrod, you forgot that America isn’t ready for the truth.

The Obama Administration has just jettisoned another black employee from their ranks. Shirley Sherrod, former United States Department of Agriculture Director of Rural Development in Georgia, was given the boot after remarks at an NAACP banquet. Now the White House will tell you that she resigned but I can guarantee that she wasn’t planning on quitting her job when she went to work today. Journalist extraordinaire Andrew Breitbart provided the video tape that caused the firing. You might remember him from his handy work with taking down Acorn with a fake white pimp.

For full disclosure: I have used videos from his site on my blog.

Apparently Sherrod was videotaped talking to the NAACP about a job she held two decades ago with the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. She talked about how a white male farmer was rude to her and because of that she didn’t do her best in helping him. Her exact quote - “I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do.” She later admitted that the incident “opened her eyes.” And that she realized that we need to move beyond race. Again from her own mouth - "The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it's about the people who have and the people who don't."

Well before the close of business she was out of a job and pundits were giving their two cents on the subject. Unfortunately none of us had enough information to make an intelligent decision. What we received was half a video tape with half the story. We missed what Sherrod was trying to say about how her views on race have evolved. All we saw and heard was - “I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do.” Instead of her speech in complete context we received an edited version. Whatever happened to investigative journalism? Oh well, it wasn’t hard to figure out what happened next.

The mainstream media debated the story without all of the information (which they stupidly admitted to) –

The NAACP denounced her without all of the information (when she was speaking at an NAACP event) –
“Since our founding in 1909, the NAACP has been a multi-racial, multi-faith organization that– while generally rooted in African American communities– fights to end racial discrimination against all Americans. We concur with US Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in accepting the resignation of Shirley Sherrod for her remarks at a local NAACP Freedom Fund banquet. Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race. We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers. Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man. The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action. We thank those who brought this to our national office’s attention, as there are hundreds of local fundraising dinners each year. Sherrod’s behavior is even more intolerable in light of the US Department of Agriculture’s well documented history of denying opportunities to African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American farmers, as well as female farmers of all races. Currently, justice for many of these farmers is being held up by Congress. We would hope all who share our outrage at Sherrod’s statements would join us in pushing for these cases to be remedied. The NAACP will continue to advance the ideals of America and fight for freedom, justice and fairness for all Americans.”

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous issued the above statement.

The United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (who is less qualified than Sherrod for his current position but I digress….) accepted *wink* *wink* Sherrod’s resignation –
“Yesterday, I asked for and accepted Ms. Sherrod’s resignation for two reasons. First, for the past 18 months, we have been working to turn the page on the sordid civil rights record at USDA and this controversy could make it more difficult to move forward on correcting injustices. Second, state rural development directors make many decisions and are often called to use their discretion,” he said. “The controversy surrounding her comments would create situations where her decisions, rightly or wrongly, would be called into question making it difficult for her to bring jobs to Georgia.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued the above statement.

Sherrod’s only relief was the woman whose husband she was supposed to have discriminated against. Say What?! Yes!! Eloise Spooner, the wife of the farmer that was allegedly discriminated against, came to her defense and said that she kept them from losing their land. She also called Sherrod “a friend for life.” So a woman was fired for discriminating against a man that she ended up helping?? To make matters worse. Glenn Beck came out in support of Sherrod. When an online title for a story says WTF? Glenn Beck Defends Shirley Sherrod- It's Possible "This Woman Deserves Her Job Back" Sherrod either needs to slit her wrists or start drinking heavily.

Yesterday I blamed Sherrod for this misstep (with only half of the info provided to me by the mainstream media) and I have to apologize for that. She isn’t a career politician like most of Obama’s appointments. You know, people that tell you what they think you want to hear because they are trying to get your vote. She was trying to be truthful and honest and tell her story. Too bad that she didn’t realize that Conservative forces were pissed off at the NAACP and were looking for payback. So for telling the truth she got canned. And to add insult to injury the NAACP retracted their previous statement denouncing Sherrod. Ben Jealous new statement says the NAACP was “snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.” The NAACP reminds me of the “Yugo.” When they send literature to my house I just throw it in the trash. Sherrod was speaking at an NAACP banquet. How did Fox News trick them when they were in the audience? Everybody at the banquet and headquarters needs to fall off a cliff!! What about the journalists that went on national television debating a doctored tape as if it were the gospel? Whatever happened to fact checking? Rushing to be the first person to deliver the story is reckless and irresponsible. If Roland Martin spent more time investigating the facts instead of sending out tweets about the celebrity parties he is attending, maybe we could have the real story. And add the fact that the Obama Administration runs from racial issues like Usain Bolt at the Olympics. So this woman never stood a chance. And how did Senator Robert Byrd get to keep his job when he admitted to being in the Klu Klux Klan. Does forgiveness and redemption only extend to career politicians? U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is being called to resign for something the Bush Administration did, was right about one thing. This country is a “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How the Mainstream Media sponsored Eliot Spitzer’s comeback.

The Mainstream Media (MSM) loves an underdog. They love people that have fought through adversity. They believe it gives American’s that “If they can do it so can I” type feeling. Whether you are fighting dogs, breaking into another political party’s office or cheating on your spouse you can be forgiven. Although there are certain things you will never be forgiven for (senseless killings and anything involving the harming of children). So it’s not a surprise to see disgraced former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer getting a television show. MSNBC gave him his first start on the comeback trail by re-introducing him to the public. I guess he fancied himself as some sort of political expert and that was enough for him to put his two cents in. I could tell “Morning Joe” co-host Mika “maven of morality” Brzezinski was tight faced when Spitzer started talking. I guess some women are still upset over his whole having sexual relations with a call girl thing. Some guys play golf and others bowl. I guess he needed a hobby because being Governor must be stressful. Well people didn’t complain loud enough when he came on MSNBC so they kept bringing him back. I didn’t see or hear about people standing outside of the network protesting. I guess they only save the picket signs for animal abusers and abortion clinics. I knew it was only a matter of time before Spitzer would be back on the scene. I just didn’t know how. But as we now know, we didn’t have to wait long for the answer.

Side Note: I personally could care less about him cheating on his wife. If she decided to stay with him, that’s on her. It’s none of my business how he conducts his marriage. They might have a lot of vested years that they didn’t want to lose.

Ratings challenged CNN has decided to revive Spitzer’s career by giving him co-hosting duties with a conservative columnist on a TBA (to be announced) program. The program will be taking over the former Campbell Brown 8pm time slot. You remember the snooze fest that Campbell Brown hosted don’t you? Yeah, me neither! I think she was trying to follow Katie Couric’s footsteps but ended up not being able to hold her jock strap but I digress….. Some folks actually thought that Roland Martin was going to get a show at the 8pm time slot….ha ha ha. Only a seasoned comedian or a coked up crack head could tell a funnier joke. In case you haven’t noticed CNN doesn’t have big plans for Roland Martin (hence the title “CNN Contributor” that the network gave him). And it’s not that Martin isn’t hustling because he had a radio show, has books, a blog and another show on TVOne. It’s just that by the MSM standards he is not that popular/cool/well know/ or whatever reason they come up with. Mark Halperin has one bestseller book and MSNBC named him “Senior Political Analyst.” Now granted Halperin has been around since the late 90’s but the hustle is not as prevalent as Martins. The National Association of Black Journalists has complained about the whiteness in television news programs with this recent hire. Or as the MSM hears when the NABJ talks to them…blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Even white women are complaining about white men getting too much play.
Too bad Rachel Sklar used “The Daily Beast” to make her complaint. Not even the founder of the on-line website can tell you how many blacks work there. TV isn’t the only place where minorities are losing out.

It's actually quite hilarious if you think about it. The same media that tore Spitzer down is now building him back up. I guess the MSM has decided that they will be the sole controllers of famous peoples’ careers. If they like you, then they will smother you with heaps and praises (i.e. John McCain before he ran for President in 2008). If they don’t like you, then you are going to have a rough time (i.e. Rev Jeremiah Wright talking about America on American soil). Spitzer should be somewhere working on making his marriage stronger and “hooker proof”. Instead he is taking promo shots for his soon to be t.v. show. Sure Spitzer is taking this opportunity away from a seasoned journalist (no matter the color). On the other hand he does have the charisma to pull it off. The man never met a camera he didn’t like. I guess it’s another situation where diversity proponents, white women (that don’t have access) and all the black weekend anchors on CNN will sit around pissed off. Is any of it fair? Probably not! We don’t live in a fair society. We live in a society where there are gatekeepers and people trying to get through the gates. It’s just another day where the people that call the shots are taking the shots too.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Columnist Ron Stodghill doesn’t know what he wants to write about.

Local entrepreneurs Damian and Jermaine Johnson were featured in the Charlotte Observer in June and July. They own 3 barbershops and a barber school. Pretty good for two brotha’s from Buffalo, NY.

Side Note: for full disclosure, Damian Johnson is my Frat Brother and we pledged in the same undergrad chapter.

On June 19, 2010, Stodghill wrote a glowing article about the Johnson Brothers. It talked about how they are making a big splash in Charlotte with their Urban Business Network. It was an informative article that should have been inspiring to future and current minority business owners.

On July 7, 2010, Stodghill wrote an article complaining about the Johnson Brothers logo for their business. He said the “logo has got to go.”

His exact words –
“Perhaps you've encountered No Grease's logo, the bug-eyed, black-faced caricature inspired by those dehumanizing minstrel shows of yesteryear.”

So what happened in almost three weeks time that made the Johnson’s go from hero’s to bums? Stodghill should have talked about his dislike for the logo in the first article. To do another article just to get a gripe off your chest is a waste of white space. The second article practically negated everything that was positive about the first one. I can’t tell if he was being sneaky or honest. I’m not bothered that Stodghill has a problem with their logo. It is a bit hard to take when you first put eyes on it. I have a problem with him “going in” on them after the fact. It made his point look petty and unnecessary. He could have included his dislike in the beginning and still produced a “fair and balanced” article. In a day and age where newspapers are strapped for cash and struggling for readers, journalists are going to have to do better.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Everybody loves the new reverse black codes. Well..except those that are dead from gun violence.

If you think that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has recently found a soft spot for black folks, think again. His recent statement on gun rights has been receiving the *side eye* from some black folks. Any other time he is telling blacks to stop blaming the white man for their problems. But now he wants blacks to stay “armed up” to protect themselves from white men? Someone should tell Thomas to wait until Halloween to dress up as Nat Turner. He’s a little early for disguises…

The 2nd Amendment - A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Sure it sounds easy enough when you read it. And it makes you actually wonder what all the fuss is about. But it appears that everyone wants to own the amendment for their own purpose (sorta like the Lebron James sweepstakes). I personally don’t have a problem with people owning guns. I owned a BB gun growing up. My parents ended up punishing me for pointing it at someone and I did shoot at this dude but those are minor details.

My personal opinion:

Pro Gun people have a right to own guns with the exception of all paramilitary style weapons. Hand Guns, Rifles, Shotguns are all cool and I support anyone that wants to own them. But to be completely Rambo’d out with the kind of equipment the “A – Team” used is a bit much. And if you belong to a Militia what is your sole purpose? Are you going around doing charity work and community service? Or are you waiting for the Russians to parachute into Calumet, Colorado to occupy the town?

Gun Control advocates have a right to ask for tougher laws in order to curb gun violence in the streets. Some neighborhoods are full of criminals and pre-criminals that will do anything to get what they want. Children in these neighborhoods live in fear because of the violence. But people in these neighborhoods still need to protect themselves. The police can’t be everywhere all the time. If someone breaks into your home, you might need a lil sumthin sumthin to keep them from doing damage. REAL TALK: Sometimes you need a “Roscoe” (For my Caucasian readers - A “Hood” term used for a handgun/ sidearm/firearm) to help you when you are in a jam.

One of the issues with gun laws is the racial component. People try to skirt the issue but it’s out in the open for anyone who wants to see it. The NRA and Gun Advocates just don’t care about the senseless violence that goes on in “The Hood.” It’s like the crack epidemic from the 80’s. When crack cocaine was in the ghetto running rampant no one cared. That is until the suburban kids started getting their noses dirty with cocaine. If you do a poll on NRA membership, I bet you won’t find too many members that live in the projects. Even Al Capone would shake his head at the number of murders in Chicago now. Things are so bad that politicians wanted to call in the National Guard. Should the NRA find this disturbing…sure! But will they…no! They see this as an attack on their rights. False campaigns waged against President Obama saying he is going to take away all the guns. Foolishness!! Obama’s hometown is littered with Guns. His Presidency hasn’t stopped guns from getting off the streets so the suburb and rural areas should be just fine.

I can’t believe as educated as this country claims to be, we can’t find a fair solution that makes all sides happy. Strict gun laws shouldn’t mean honest citizens can’t buy fire arms. The laws would be to keep dishonest citizens from purchasing fire arms. But if you even mention gun control, you will be labeled a gun-grabber. It’s a never ending case of the dog chasing its tail or is it the tail chasing the dog? So Clarence Thomas was right about blacks being able to have the right to defend themselves. But not from the Reconstruction era whites that were hateful towards blacks. The biggest threat of gun violence against blacks comes from other blacks.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cash in a can.

Have you ever been hungry and in a hurry? Ever thought about stuffing food into a soda can??? If you are like me, none of these things have crossed your mind. But for someone else it did. And he thought he could make money off of it.

Introducing: The Candwich!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

LeBron, Oscar and Twitter.

White Man told me not to ask why.
Black Man told me injustice should make me cry.
Yellow Man told me to dream big and reach the sky.
Brown Man told me that it’s do or die.
Red Man told me that whatever I heard it was a lie.

This is about two Twenty year old black men whose lives crossed paths on July 8th and the microblogging tool that brought them together. Lebron James gave the weirdest press conference of the century on the same night that Oscar Grant’s murderer was given the lightest sentence possible. LeBron and his management team didn’t know that Oscar’s murderer was going to practically skate. Oscar’s family would have probably been watching Lebron’s press conference if Oscar was still alive. But people on twitter were watching it all go down. For those that watched “LeBron-a-thon” their tweets consisted of issues involving Miami, Groupies, LeBron’s mother’s alleged sexual appetite and ESPN. For those that heard about Oscar’s verdict their tweets consisted of issues involving injustice, crooked cops, pleas not to riot and plans to get free stuff if looting did take place. Team Oscar was hard on LeBron because he wasn’t playing the “Jim Brown” role. His former team owner was even harder on him with his spurned love letter. It’s unrealistic to think today’s athletes are going to get caught up with issues involving race. They have too many commercials and sneaker deals to lose out on. Team Oscar was also hard on their twitter followers who didn’t mention Oscar Grant in their tweets.

A word to my fellow Twitterers……….you can’t have it both ways.

The great thing about my Twitter Timeline is the people that are in it. They come from different backgrounds and they have different interests. Some are pro-black, feminists, poets, journalists, nymphomaniacs, pseudo-activists, entrepreneurs, techies, and college students. They all bring something interesting to the table in their own unique way. I don’t always agree with everything they say but I don’t stop them from saying it. I hate BET but a lot of people tweet about it when they watch the BET award shows. I’m pretty sure that everything I say they don’t agree with either. I’m not mad at Team Oscar for being upset over the verdict. I don’t like it either but I’m not surprised. It shouldn’t be a shock because lady justice wears a blindfold. She can’t tell what’s going on with her eyes covered but I digress….. But I’m also not mad at Team LeBron for not mentioning Oscar in their tweets. Our connections on twitter are like any relationship that we might have with our family and friends. We will agree to disagree and disagree to agree.

Every 4 years you get a chance to shine and they still try to take it away from you.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup has come to an end and it was a good one. Countries were watching as their fellow countrymen battled for worldwide bragging rights. People that didn’t even know anything about Football Soccer were watching the matches. There was even a psychic octopus that was getting in on the act. Even Citizen Daddy was wearing a Kenyan soccer jersey at our family reunion. He told me that African’s in my hometown think that he is from Africa. I get that same response from Africans sometimes myself. Odd?!?!

Side Note: I hope the Republican’s don’t try to deport us because we are Americans!!

Even though many of us enjoyed the thrill of the games, you still had some haters. These are the same people that don’t consider soccer a real sport. They don’t think the players are real athletes and that no skill is required in kicking a ball. I’m not going to attempt to defend the players because I don’t need to. Soccer is a global sport that is played all over the world. The term “Soccer Mom’s” is used in every presidential election we have in the U.S. You can try to hate it but you can’t stop it. Soccer is everywhere!!! The haters need to get ready because in 2011they will be doing it again. Although this time, the women will be on deck!!!

Friday, July 02, 2010

To my fellow Minority Bloggers, don’t let Time Magazine determine your worth!!!

I saw a tweet the other day from a fellow blogger regarding the lack of African American Bloggers on Time Magazine’s Best Blogs of 2010 list. Last month I was at Blogging While Brown in the nation’s capital. I met minority bloggers from all over the country. We are out here in large numbers and if the mainstream media doesn’t know it that’s their loss. But I won’t sit around waiting for recognition from Time Magazine or any other dying print publication. They might be on-line now but they are still behind as far as I’m concerned.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Alabama, we get your message!! But don’t leave us just yet!

That rugged untamed frontier known as Alabama is done with playing nice. Alabamians are pissed off and they aren’t going to take it anymore. They are willing to defend their state and country in order to protect the sanctity that was envisioned by their founding forefathers. And it appears that they will do this by any means necessary. The ads that some Alabama candidates are running all express the theme of independence and the defense of liberty. Other ads involving building schools, fixing roads and finding alternative fuel resources aren’t tough enough to compete with these ads. These are real men that are demanding a call for action. And if any bureaucrat (current bureaucrats mind you, not the bureaucrats that the candidates that are currently running for office will become if they get elected) gets in their way they will be in serious trouble. Candidates requesting a call to arms against tyranny, shooting at anyone that disagrees with them and demanding an English speaking state usually means on thing.

Alabama is going to secede from the Union!!!!

I know it hasn’t been all that great for Alabama but I never would have thought we would end up here. Sure Alabama has a smudge in the history books for their view on slavery and Jim Crow. And yes they fell down in college football for a period of time. But why would they leave now? They just had the first African America Heisman Trophy winner in the University of Alabama history. You have Charles Barkley as a native son and a Toyota Plant in Huntsville. A black NBA player that likes white women and a Japanese car company on American soil sounds progressive to me!! And from the ad you can tell the Rick Barber is sincerely concerned about slavery. I’m sure he must have a diverse coalition working within his campaign.

Don’t leave us Alabama!!! Without the Federal Government who will help you clean up future oil spills on your shores? And who will help you when Hurricanes destroy your homes? Sure being alone will be fun at first but you will miss us. Miss Alabama will have to compete in the Miss America Pageant as a territory (if they let you). Ask Miss Puerto Rico what it feels like to live in a commonwealth of the U.S.? And instead of using the U.S. Dollar are you going to go back to confederate states of America currency? Try spending that money at J.J.’s Rib Shack while passing through Atlanta and see what happens. Alabama has an important role in filling the gap between Georgia and Mississippi. We can’t count on any other state to fill that need. How would New Jersey look taking Alabama’s place? “Jersey Shore” would look a lot different with confederate flags and tanning beds. Let’s hope that this is just a few rouge individuals and not the consensus. If there is a state that has to leave, let it be Arizona. They will be alright by themselves as you can see below: