R.I.P. John Heard

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john heard

From the New York Times:

John Heard, an actor who played pained characters in dramas but became known for his role as the father who forgot his youngest son on a family trip to Paris in “Home Alone,” died Friday in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 71.

The cause of death remained under investigation, said the Santa Clara County Office of the Medical Examiner-Coroner in San Jose, Calif., which confirmed the death on Saturday.

Mr. Heard recently had surgery for back pain at Stanford University Medical Center and was recovering at a nearby hotel where a housekeeper found his body, his former wife, Sharon Heard, said in an interview on Saturday.

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R.I.P. Chester Bennington

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From Complex:

Chester Bennington, the lead vocalist of rock band Linkin Park, has died in an apparent suicide. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Bennington hanged himself at a Palos Verdes Estates residence in Los Angeles County. Bennington’s body was found Thursday morning. Shortly after the initial report, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed Bennington’s death in a statement to the Associated Press. He was 41.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Black Men, We Need To Do Better For Black Women!

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black couple

Before I begin, I want to make something loud and clear. This rant was not written for the satisfaction and ego boast of the white male ego, nor is it to absolve all the things I’ve blogged about concerning racism. Hell yes, racism is a major issue, but it’s NOT the only issue. And lastly, this is not a distraction from what some of you deem are “real issues” that hark back to racism. Once again, racism is still a problem. I wholeheartedly agree. But so is misogyny, or in our case, misogynoir, and we need to stop being punk-ass cowards and confront this issue inflicted against black women partly by black men.

With that said, let me say something simple and yet powerfully true. Black men can not be pro-black if they are not pro-black women. You can’t fight for black people if you leave black women out or if you throw them under the bus. Black women are black people too.

Yes, it’s a plain statement. It’s true to life. It’s common damn sense. But too many brothas can’t seem to grasp it, because we’re taught not to think that way or haven’t been taught that way at all.

What’s even worse is that one way or another, black women are the enemy. If they’re victims at the hands of black men, we protect black men and vilify his victims. We see them as weapons out to bring black men down, especially rich and powerful ones. We call them trifling, manipulative, gold-digging or just no good all for the sake of black patriarchy protectionism.

We constantly judge them by their looks. If we don’t chastise them for wearing make-up and weaves, then we deem them less attractive for their natural hair and skin color and go chasing lighter-skinned black women or just straight up hook up with white females.

Keep in mind, there’s nothing wrong with having preferences, and it’s not a sin to date outside one’s race. However, cutting black women down for having darker skin is deplorable, especially when some of ya’ll have dark skin as well. Skin color is not a choice when you’re born, and dark skin should not be viewed as less attractive or unattractive. Again, some of you have that complexion and you look down on black women with the same complexion. I call that a sign of internalized racism/colorism.

Seriously, some of ya’ll sound like racist white dudes for the insults and excuses you spew when you berate black women, the same women who created you, support you and stand by you. But it’s troubling that you don’t see something so gotdamn obvious and glorious and would go out of your way to throw them under the bus for self-serving purposes.

Seriously, do ya’ll secretly hate yourselves? Do ya’ll really wish ya’ll weren’t black?

Let’s be honest. That kind of behavior is beyond pathetic, and shows evidence of how powerful a few centuries of oppression can be. And it’s time we see that shit for what it is.

After the celebrity news media was on fire over the scandals surrounding R. Kelly, Kevin Hart and Usher, that was my breaking point. (Actually, I reached my breaking point years ago, but this week, I went critical.) I felt ashamed for being a black man, and I bet a lot of other black men feel the same way. But some brothas will cast blame on black women for putting themselves into situations that aren’t their fault, and will still think of themselves as ‘woke’.

Brothas, that’s not being woke. That’s being sleepy as hell, and when you’re sleepy, your ass doesn’t think clearly.

Ask yourselves, why the bloody hell are we spending so much precious time supporting and protecting niggas who pose a serious danger to the black community, and by that I mean black women? Also, why is it that everytime – EVERY FUCKIN’ TIME – a black woman accuses a black man of abuse, assault and rape, we automatically go on the defense and instantly assume that she’s lying and out to ruin him. We never think about how he ruined her in so many ways. We never consider how often this shit occurs versus the ultra tiny number of false claims which we will callously stick as evidence of their supposed trifling nature. We never, not once, consider that she may be telling the truth and was genuinely and tragically harmed. We never think of the welfare of our sistas unless its to our advantage.

Our male privilege is showing through a diseased dick, gentlemen, a dick we will use to fuck up our community to save our victimhood.

Yes, I’m aware white men do this too. I’m aware of the likes of famous white men like Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Bill O’Reilly, Hugh Hefner, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis, Donald Trump and even Thomas Jefferson. I know some of you be like, “White men do that too.” But that retort lacks moral reasoning. Our oppressors engage in that shit. That doesn’t mean we should do the same to our women. Why the hell should we?

Do you see how wrong it is to adopt their misogyny? If not, something’s seriously wrong with you. It should be a wake up call to be better than they are! 

If you’re still reading this, and are pissed off, good. I’m not interested in your arguments or excuses. Direct your anger at the no-good jackasses that’s ruining our communities that pray and destroy black women. If you’re truly woke, you would do what you can to stand for and with black women. No exceptions. If you truly consider them your queens, act like a king, a true king, and banish the behavior and mindset that’s harming your queens by mental paupers who think they’re kings. 

Yes, there are innocent and kind black men that have been targeted by racism, and some have been punished unjustly for being accused of crimes they didn’t commit. BUT there are also black men who have caused great harm to the black community. Not every brotha is Emmett Till, a member of the Central Park Five or Nelson Mandela. We have predators within our midst and we need to fight them and the society that enables them to continue their shit. If we don’t start fighting for black women – our mothers, sisters and daughters, then we’re just contributing to the ongoing destruction of our people.

Your Thoughts: Why Do Whites Hate and Fear Blacks?

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To a lot of white folks, black people are the worst things since cold grits. They’re obsessed with thinking they’re superior to everyone else, especially blacks while hung up on the notion that we’re naturally below them in every way they deem is important to them.

Their claim to fame is all the accomplishments done by White Americans and Europeans since time immemorial. Many of them think that all of the greatness of Planet Earth, i.e. civilizations and sciences for instance, was only done by pale face. The rest of the world, especially in the tiny land of Africa, didn’t do shit as far as they’re concerned, and they wouldn’t be civilized without the intervention of the great white man.

Their “evidence”, and I use that term loosely, usually comes from – of course – white supremacy sources. Crime reports, real or fabricated, are “proof” to them. The local news where the suspect is a black person is “proof” to them. Pseudoscience produced by struggling business owners with high school diplomas from the South or Midwest are proof to them. Basically, anything that hints towards the damning lie of black inferiority is worthy of their attention.

It’s no use lecturing them on historical, societal and scientific truths, because white supremacy is the truth to them. It’s their only “truth”. White people are not just people. They’re better! Everyone else who disagrees, including actual experts, are simply wrong. No argument will suffice. None!

Diversity, in their minds, promotes white genocide. Black crime or rather black-on-white crime is astronomical. Affirmative action is the only explanation why a black person advances in his or her career. Again, no counter argument with actual facts and data will work on them. The superior white race is in danger from the inferior black race.

They are proud to be white. Yet, their pride is hollow as they need to hate nonwhites in order to feel good about their complexion. They can’t love their whiteness without hating blackness. And many of them are fine with that.

Oh, and don’t even think of bringing up slavery or racism. Black people are in the state they’re in, because of their own culture. White people didn’t do anything. They’re cosmically innocent.

What are your thoughts? Why do you think a lot of white people hate and fear black people? Leave your comments below.

R. Kelly truly is the Black community’s Pied-Piper

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How many of you have held of the tale about the Pied-Piper of Hamelin? Personally, I only heard of him watching old cartoons. What I remember is that the Pied-Piper is some white dude in tights prancing around playing his flute. The flute had an attractive power of drawing mice in a trance to the musician. Again, I learned this watching old cartoons. So, I was partially educated and totally amused.

But there’s more to the tale, a darker side that cartoons never revealed probably due to standards and practices back then.

According to the tale, the piper was commissioned by the town of Hamelin to rid the town of its enormous rat problem. He managed to do just that, but got stiffed out of the payment he was supposed to earn. The piper swore revenge, and he did just that, by charming over a hundred of the town’s children into a cave where they were never seen again.

In the title, I compared the Pied-Piper to R. Kelly. The latter was once referred to as “the pied-piper of R&B’ after all, a title Kelly gave to himself. Given the gloom behind the former’s tale, it may sound a tad bit extreme. But given his history of sexual exploitation and pedophilia, and recent allegations that he’s running a multi-state cult of young black women being used as sexual concubines being held against their will, it’s becoming a disturbing reality we can no longer ignore.

Depressingly, Kelly’s fans will defend him. They will blame the victims, the parents of those victims and will drum up any and all excuses why they will continue to go half on a baby and step in the name of love. They will turn to the TMZ interview of 21 year-old Jocelyn Savage and will count that as proof that Kelz is doing nothing wrong.

At this point, news such as this is no longer surprising and no less horrific. It never really was ever since R. Kelly tied the knot with the then-15 year-old Aaliyah in 1994. Yeah, we were like, “That’s crazy,” but we still bought his music, because it was that damn good, even though it was made clear to him that age was nothing but a number. Like the Pied-Piper, we fell under his spell back then, and many folks are still entranced by his music enough to forsake the lives of black women.

Three of Kelly’s former associates, Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee, described the conditions within these cults:

“They said six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs, and he controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”

If that last part is true, those tapes should severely injure Kelly’s career. But if he was acquitted from the trial in which he was shown taping himself peeing on a young girl, then I have doubts that even this story will convince people that this musician is sick as fuck. His music will still be played by DJ’s across the land, downloaded off the internet and paid for by his devoted fans.

But it’s not surprising as we still praise the works of Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Mel Gibson, to name a few.

Let’s be real, folks. If R. Kelly’s victims were white women, his career and legacy would be in a grave right beside Bill Cosby’s. Hell, if his victims were dogs, America would thirst for his blood. (Right, Michael Vick?) But since these are black women, it doesn’t seem like a huge fucking deal, right?

Que the excuses, usual victim blaming and drive to protect black men, even the most disturbed and destructive among us. But if we can’t save black women from the misogynoir men – including us black men – inflict upon them, then we can’t save the black community. Period. The code of silence will prevail while we continue to bump and grind into total fuckery.

So, what do you have to say about this latest disturbing revelation? Do you think it’s time – or past time – to finally stand against R. Kelly? If so, how? Do you have doubts about the allegations levied against him? Is what he’s accused of common in the black community? And if so, what must be done to fix this problem?

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Another Response To Reality Check

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Reality Check,

In a previous entry entitled RANT: Police are killing black folks, and I have the right to be pissed the fuck off!, you said the following:

“Brothawolf, unless you’re willing to take action, being pissed off is useless.

Problem is, too many black men are pissed off, not nearly enough are moved to action….just sayin.”

To which I agreed, and asked what can be done. You replied:

“We can fight back by starting to fight, which we’re not doing.

In order to get true freedom, each of us has to be willing to DIE for it. Black men are not willing to die for freedom. This is exactly why we remain the white man’s boy.”

So, I asked you what have you done in the fight against this and other problems we’re facing. I’ve yet to hear a response. Now, I won’t jump to conclusions. I will assume that you may be too preoccupied to answer. On the other hand, I will also assume that you won’t answer as you probably haven’t fought yourself.

It wasn’t until now (I’m slow. I know.) that I realized you haven’t really answered my first question. You simply replied that we should fight back. Well, how exactly do we fight back, and what’s wrong with the way those who are fighting are fighting? You continued with a call for sacrifice, a willfulness to die for freedom. But honestly, are YOU willing to die for it?

While noble as it sounds, it lacks substance. Precisely, it lacks any hint of a plan, a sufficient plan that would give results and explain risks. Yes, we must fight, but without a thoughtful carried-out initiative, the resistance will likely fall apart before it starts. So, how can black people effectively fight against an oppressive system of racism?

I asked you what have you done to see what should be done that could work? I also wanted to know if you’ve done anything that you’re very passionate about? Have you been fighting? If so, how? And what were the results?

I won’t pass any prejudices. However, I’m still going to be straight up with you. This is a blog I’ve set up six years ago as a way for myself and other people to have a voice. Even though, I’ve said that it’s just a blog and I’m merely a blogger, it still contributes to the expression of marginalized people without any filters. To some, blogging is a way of fighting. It’s a way of voicing your thoughts and opinions. It’s practicing one’s freedom of speech.

If it’s not a reliable means of combating the enemy, I’m open to suggestions. But here’s the other matter. Still, keeping it real, if you’re not doing anything yourself, it may be a good idea not to throw stones at others. If you’re just ranting, you appear to be – like you said – a pissed off black man, but not pissed off to do anything.

If you’re really willing to die for freedom, I commend you. But if you’re not and haven’t done anything nor plan to do anything, please have about a dozen or so seats.

Many of us, if not most of us, are fighting our asses off. We may not be fighting physically, but we sure as hell are fighting mentally and emotionally. We try not to drink the sugary sweet Kool-aid of white supremacy and get sick from internalized racism. We try not to let our emotions run wild in this zoo called America. Our battles are being fought in our hearts and minds, and we’re still standing our ground after being bombarded by whiteness for so long.

Black folks are angry. Some are doing something about it. And some are putting themselves at risk for the sake of change. But many don’t know what the hell to do. One can not assume that we’re just vexed with no action. Some of us want to do something that will tear a hole in racism. Some of us are doing what we can. Some of us are clueless. But mere criticism will get us nowhere. And that’s being real.

R.I.P. Fresh Kid Ice

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From Rolling Stone:

Christopher Wong Won, a.k.a. Fresh Kid Ice, the pioneering Asian rapper and co-founder of the influential Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew, died Tuesday at the age of 53. 2 Live Crew’s longtime manager Debo confirmed Wong Won’s death to Rolling Stone. According to Debo, the cause of death was a “medical condition,” but the rep declined to elaborate.

Fellow 2 Live Crew member Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell wrote on Twitter, “My condolence goes out to the family Chris Wong Won Fresh Kid Ice of the 2 Live Crew who just passed away people we lost a legend.”

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Military Plane Crash in Mississippi

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From ABC News

From CNN:

Seven of the service members killed in a military transport plane crash in Mississippi were from an elite Marine unit based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

The other nine Marines killed were from Orange County, New York, county executive Steve Neuhaus said. The KC-130T aircraft was based in New York, officials said.

Investigators are trying to determine why the plane crashed in western Mississippi’s Leflore County on Monday afternoon, Maj. Andrew Aranda said.

The transport plane, carrying fifteen Marines and a Navy corpsman, was moving personnel and equipment from North Carolina to a western base to train before deploying, the Marine Corps said.

Six Marines and the sailor were members of the 2d Marine Raider Battalion, based in Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. They were part of Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command and were traveling to the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, for small unit pre-deployment training.

Click here for the rest of this article.

What are your thoughts on this tragedy? Please comment below.

Crime in the News and Its Racial Bias

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For those who have doubts that the news media could have any hint of racial bias and those who credit said media as undeniable proof of the hyper-criminal culture within the black community, research has been conducted to examine why both are erroneous.

The Journal of Mass Communication and Journalism’s website published a research article that covers lead stories in local news. It focuses on who is portrayed as criminals, victims and heroes and if there’s a racial bias on who gets what role most often. In this case, it’s whites versus blacks.

Here are a few snippets from that article. (Its research is based on its observations of news coverage centered in Omaha, Nebraska. However, similar studies have been conducted on other news stations across the country):

Studies from as far back as the late 1970’s have suggested, “Crime stories in the news may shape public conception of order and justice in the community,” [12,15,16]. Dixon and Linz [12] equate the way television news portrays crime as “a modern play” in which the “devil” is both symbolically and physically cast out from the society by “guardians-police and the judiciary.” Other researchers [17] theorized that the perpetrators of crime, who according to the images shown during local newscasts appear to be overwhelmingly Black males, begin to represent the “evil forces” in society that must be controlled to maintain social order. Chiricos and Eschholz [7] suggests local TV news may contribute to social controls and exclusions in relation to Blacks and Hispanics, a condition associated with the fear of crime identified as “modern racism.” Furthermore, “modern racism,” is defined as a form of racism that is more subtle but perhaps more harmful in the long run [8-11], and can be characterized as “anti-black affect or a general hostility toward Blacks” [11]. Today’s media’s representation of Blacks and race leads to two different but closely related views: “[T]he first assumes that crime is stereotypically portrayed as a Black phenomenon, and the second assumes that Blacks are disproportionately portrayed as criminals” [7]. The implications of connecting Blacks, especially Black males with crime is well documented and some researchers believe that link may’ve been solidified during the 1988 Presidential election race between George Bush and Michael Dukakis, when the Bush campaign unveiled the infamous Willie Horton photo. Even though it has been more than 25 years since Horton’s face was splashed across television screens into American homes, his image may still be what researchers call the iconography of Black criminal threat so much so that Horton has led to the assertion that “today’s prevailing criminal predator has become a euphemism for young Black male” [10].

When it comes to crime, news outlets, on the other hand, tend to show White adults in much more positive roles compared to Blacks [18]. Whites are overrepresented as police officers when employment records do not support that representation [18]. Local news, with its typically heavy focus on urban crime, may have some responsibility for this exaggerated perception [19].

What did they discover? What other research have found out and what we’ve known all along:

This study was designed to compare how the Omaha, Nebraska, television news stations’ lead news stories represent Black versus White males to the extent to which race is associated with law-breaking activity. A close assessment of the stations’ lead or big story of the day revealed that Black males in Omaha are depicted as criminals close to three times more often as White males. These findings appear to mirror other research that has shown that Blacks in general are overrepresented by the media in news of crime. It’s clear that Black males will appear more frequently than White males as perpetrators and felons as depicted in the lead story in local television newscast. Also Black males in Omaha are overrepresented in television news lead stories as lawbreakers in comparison to official crime data and population demographics.

What do you think? Do you think the same is true with most other local news? Leave your comments below.

Your Thoughts: Being Woke in Some Topics but Asleep in Others

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Being woke is another way of being aware of what’s really going on. It’s when one notices that something’s wrong and knows that it’s empirically wrong. It’s when you see that what’s considered normal by many is actually crazy as hell.

But if you know about something but is ignorant about another, does that mean you’re still woke, still asleep or at least, drowsy?

For example, you believe that classism is a major concern in this nation. However, you believe that it’s a bigger problem than say…racism. Or you’re against sexual assault and rape, but you think that most rape accusations, especially against male suspects, are false. Or you may believe that black lives matter but think black people need to focus more on “black-on-black crime” as opposed to police imposed and state sanctioned violence.

What do you think? Can being aware on some issues but uninformed on others still make you woke? Are there varying levels of “wokeness”? Please comment below.