That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

“Please Don’t Let Him Be Black!”

Thank you, Pac Man Jones.*

Thank you, Chris Henry.*

Thank you, Tank Johnson.* Thank you, Michael Vick.*Thank you, Ron Artest.**Thank you, Kobe.**

Thank you, gangsta rap.

Thank you, BET.

Thank you, video hoochies.***

Thank you all, and all you others that I forgot. Oh, yeah. Thank you, Flava Flav, and all of your “ladies.” YOU know what time it is…

I just wanted to thank you guys for all you’ve done to advance the worthy cause of racism today. We needed to keep those stereotypes and presuppositions going, and you all have done an exemplary job in keeping them alive and thriving! I love “fitting the profile!”

We ARE all sexually irresponsible criminals who only live to drink, drug, and dance. We can’t be faithful to our wives. We are all inappropriately loud, unraised, and devoid of decorum. We all drive and wear our net worth. We are all more violent and threatening than Vikings or Cossacks could have imagined.

What’s the use of talking through a disagreement when we can SMOKE**** a fool?! We are all wary of books and of education. If we had our choice, we would all either pimp women, or prostitute ourselves. Sex, money, crime and violence. That sums us up. Thanks, guys, for making sure no one forgot that.

I surely don’t want to hear that tired argument that the White man just plays up Black crime just to make us look bad. The White man didn’t make you drown dogs, or buy those guns, or get into all those strip club fights, or paralyze bouncers, or write those “lyrics,” or shake it in those porn-eos, or AIR them. You’ve got the receipt for that stuff!

The fact is that when you blame others for what is so clearly your own work, you make it nearly impossible to cry foul when racist acts do occur! How can I righteously rage against the Sean Hannitys of this country, who cloak and disguise bigotry with the flag, when they bask in the sunlight of stories like yours, revelling in the use of racist code language like “The Race Card?” As if all those years of slavery and Jim Crow, all they have wrought to this very day, can be boiled down to a card in a deck!

Thank you for making it so easy for me. I’m so popular nowadays. When I walk into a grocery store in a good (read: White) neighborhood, all those nice White people stare at me in awe, admiring my got-it-going-on-ness. The security people are so curious of my shopping habits that their cameras follow my every move!

When I shop for clothes or big ticket technological items, the salespeople are courteous enough to not bother me with questions or offers of assistance. They know I have the money to afford the merchandise, but they are kind enough to let me find what I need on my own.

Cops are so concerned about my well-being that when they see me, they make u-turns in traffic to ensure my safe arrival at home! They give me tickets to courtroom dramas, in which I get to play pivotal roles.

They’re so nice to us that when we kill each other, we get little, if any, jail time. And that’s if they even bother to investigate.

(I mean, who would care if all the mosquitoes or slugs wiped each other out?)

They’re so interested in our input that when a South Carolina woman drowns her kids, or when a Boston man shoots his wife, the cops round US up to hear what we think. That’s so thoughtful.

When I seek to buy a home, the real estate agents, knowing that birds of a feather need to live in the same cages, thankfully steer me away from those stuffy, boring, quiet neighborhoods. And they make sure that I get the good kind of financing that changes with the market so that I can get a better percentage rate later.

 Dey sho looks out fa me!

Thank you Al, Jesse, and all the Supreme Black Thinkers for shifting the focus. Thank you for blaming the White Man while the seventy percent baby-mama rate goes unlamented, uncrusaded.

Thank you for ignoring the astroromical dropout rate.

Thank you for showing up (rightfully so) when a cop does something wrong, but giving only weak kool-aid lip service to Black-on-Black cultural, and actual, genocide.

In terms of number of offenses, you dump an ocean on a lit match, and spit on a wildfire!

We don’t need our “dirty laundry” aired publically anyway. All those gang killings and drive-bys will thankfully continue to go unnoticed. The wider society would get a wrong notion of who we are if we marched and protested about all of the murdered school children and innocent bystanders.

Thank you ”leaders” for raising all that noise about Don Imus, instead! We know who our real enemies are. “WE can kill each other by the thousands, but a White man bett’ not even SAY nothin’!”

Keep on keepin’ it real!

I truly believe that, although only God could get them to admit it, there are those in law enforcement, on television, and in my own neighborhood, who want us all either in jail, in graves, or in Africa! But overt racism is no longer chic, and has thus gone COvert. I am not a fool. I live it.

Do you think that even the CHURCH, the last bastion of accepted segregation, would be so if that were not the case? Even those who (falsely) claim Christ don’t want us around them.

The aforementioned Sean Hannity, and many of his conservative contemporaries claim to be fair, but try every other option rather than admitting a single case of racist behavior.

(The thing these conservatives seem to “conserve” most is compassion. They need to be more liberal with the love!)

“Oh, it’s out there, but it’s rare. The great Dr. Martin Luther King cured it!” Well, why is it that I see it so often, when I’M the one they try to hide it from? Wouldn’t they logically display it to “one of their own,” believing him to be of like mind?

Regardless of your selfish, irresponsible acts, guys, “they” who would degrade you will do so anyway. They will laugh at your lips, noses, and skin color. They will belittle your accomplishments. They will still deny you job opportunities. They will still not want us in their neighborhoods, schools, and stores. They will still see us all as shiftless, unteachable criminals out to rape all the women. They don’t need reasons to hate us, but you all continually hand them excuses to point the finger.

Thank you for giving a bat to a head-beater! (obviously, I am speaking here of racists, not everyone.)

Yes, I know what atrocities occurred to get us where we are. Black folk are not intrinsically dumb, or project-prone. There is a reason why we always end up being the porters, busboys, dishwashers, maids, cooks, sharecroppers, garbage men, ditch-diggers, country club servants, defendants, laborers, bathroom attendants(!), and custodians.(yes, we can get  some other jobs, but we are the only ones who get these!) We want good educations. We want to live in tree-lined communities. But SOMETHING has kept us from “the good life” as a norm, and it ain’t laziness!

This is not about transferring blame, though. This is about realizing that, like it or not, fair or unfair, groups of people are judged by their negatives. For minorities, Black folk in particular, this fact means that the fullest measure of the “American Dream” is not achieveable for the whole. We have to speak better, know more, work harder, and act more civilly because each misstep affects the perception and opportunity of, and for, the group.

(Yes, we have it harder. If you don’t think so, go to the ghetto and look at all those poor children and try to believe that they did something to be born there. They are just the current link in a loooong chain. Their starting line is MILES behind even poor White kids.)

I know that you fellas don’t care about that fact. You don’t give a… HOOT what White folks think about you! But because you don’t, the burden is made heavier for the rest of us. We care to have an accurate assessment made of our character. We don’t want to be measured by your rule. We are tired of being embarrassed by your uncouth actions. We are tired of hoping the “perp” isn’t Black when the news comes on. I don’t want my child, or yours, to suffer because of what you have done.

You get stuck with the pin, and I feel the pain.

Christian love is thinking first of the next man.

Quit being selfish and show some personal responsibility!

THANK you.

*NFL player

**NBA player

***Spectacularly endowed, sparsely-clad women of nebulous morality.

****Shoot, kill.

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July 25, 2007 Posted by | Al Sharpton, Crime, Current Events, Jesse Jackson, Personal Responsibility, Race, Racism, Sean Hannity, Segregated Church, Sports | 8 Comments

Jesus Is Not The Result Of An Opinion Poll

Christianity is not right because I say so, any more than Niagra Falls is beautiful because of the mere opinion of the first person to see it.

He and I just adhered to the facts.

July 19, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Common Sense, Food for Thought, God, Jesus, Logic, Religion, Truth | Leave a comment

Words. They make a STATEMENT!

“Words are the most powerful human force in the universe.”I know that that is not a statement dripping in profundity, but sometimes the most powerful Truths are the most simple. A genius in a wheelchair can cripple a strongman with a well-turned insult.A word as simple as ”What,” can cut a parent, husband, or wife swiftly and cleanly through sinew and bone straight to the heart easily enough to make a scalpel seem like a wet sock.

Had I, as a child, uttered that word in response to a summons from either of my parents, I truly would not be here to write this blog. At best, I would not be a whole man. (Words are so strong that my critics will feel justified in completely ignoring the hyperbole implicit in that statement and accusing my parents of murder or, at least, assault and battery)

In that way, and NOT the magical, mystical misinterpreted sense of some popular preachers (Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Oral Roberts, Juanita Bynum), ”There is life and death in the power of the tongue!”

If my wife innocently calls my name while I’m watching a game and I reply with a sharp, ”What!?,” the bells I’ll hear ringing in my head won’t be from the sublime soundtrack of my life! I’m only joking, but I know that that is probably the reality of some of you readers. For you, the ringing will mean that it is next week and you can go ahead and get up off the floor.

Kids, in only four or five years of study– less time than it takes one to get through medical school or seminary training– can become expert enough at the use of words to scar their little playmates forever. They are cruel urchins unencumbered by the burdens of tactfulness and decorum. Who among you doesn’t still feel the slightest twinge of anguish at the memory of that cute girl telling you, from above her nose ,

“Uhhh! Naw, I don’t wanna GO wit chu!!!” Or of a kid in your neighborhood telling you,

”Those shoes outta style, an’ you wore that shirt yesterday. You can’t afford no new stuff, ‘cuz yo daddy ain’t got no job, an’ y’all on food stamps, an’ y’all lights always gittin’ cut off!”

And Lord help the one who had the nerve or dubious judgment to say, ”Thass ya MAMA!”

 At least, that’s the way it was for Black folk! SOMEbody was gonna catch a mouth full of folded up fingers!

In all of those cases, the proper choice of words would have wrought a different outcome. Words have gotten me into fights and arguments, and they have saved me from getting stabbed or fired.

A well-placed, unsolicited, ”I love you” can carry a person through a lifetime. It doesn’t cost a thing to tell someone ”Thank you.” Call a friend or relative out of the blue and say some nice things about them- genuinely- and watch the blessing that follows. Don’t use harsh words with your spouse, use EFFECTIVE words. There is a difference.

Stop your kids from ”talking crazy” to you, for they WILL carry that behavior with them elsewhere.

This country, America, has a history which is stained indelibly by the fact that some people chose -choose- to believe that they were- are- intrinsically superior to any others. See how I used words to dance deftly around the word, ”racism”? There are many words used in our language to slur, slander, demean and diminish those of other races. We all know them, and many of us use them. (The funny thing is that all who do still consider themselves “good people”) These words, uttered by the wrong person at the wrong time, will drag the needle across the record and stop the party!

I have been victimized in often subtle ways by the negative application of words of this fashion. It is a strange feeling to go through life knowing that a group of people with the most power often use that power to press into the mud the faces of those who look different. Words are usually the conveyance of that action.

While nowadays overt gestures are frowned upon, the words are still alive:

“He is so articulate.”

”He is a naturally gifted athlete.”

”We have already rented that property.”

”Blacks were the first here, in an evolutionary sense. 

And as the species developed, intelligence increased.”

“Yes, Mr. Williams, let me show you the radio in this new Cadillac!” I could, of course, go on and on…

Language. A beautiful, ingenious concept. The ability to do more than make indecipherable gestures and grunts to communicate with each other, and we choose to use it to attempt to crush the esteem and Godly image of those with whom we live. Simple words. A collection of letters and a group of sounds combined to either uplift or enrage. They can bring unexpressable joy, or unbearable despair.

The engine of politics and international diplomacy is the spoken word. Every single letter is parsed with achingly tedious detail. Words determine war or peace, amity or enmity. Tone and context are only of minor import when held up next to what was SPOKEN. They won’t care what you meant, only what you said.

Athletes, often unaware of the dangers inherent in public speaking, fall prey to unscrupulous reporters (the new ”lawyers”?) itching only to stoke the embers of controversy. They wind up with a twisted quote attached to them for life.

Said Charles Barkley; “I am NOT a role model.”

What I heard was, ”Parents, be your kids’ role models. Don’t let them admire some athlete or musician more than they do you! Teach them the value of hard work and education.”

What every sports reporter (Jay Marriotti, Skip Bayless, Jim Gray, etc.) heard Barkley say was, ”I will do WHATEVER I wanna do, and I don’t care about what no KIDS think about it!”

What l’m saying is; Think long and hard about what you say before you say it, and make sure that you can convey EXACTLY what you mean to. Don’t give anyone the power to twist your words into something else. Don’t say what you don’t mean to say.

Learn to use language, like currency, to your advantage. Learn to turn a phrase, or cleverly construct an argument.  To young , Black kids I would say, “There is no shame in being well-read.” I would love to get to the point where I don’t hide all my pin numbers and money in books when I leave the house, because the OLD adage no longer applies!”*

As I said to my wife once upon having used a word the meaning of which she did not know, “You gotta go where the WORDS are!” She laughed. I hope you did, too.

Words are free but valuable. They flow like rivers, fluidly, endlessly. Sometimes safe to use, sometimes not. But never to be wasted. They are to be saved and calculated. Prudently utilized. God will check our accounts when we meet Him. Shall we pour them all out carelessly in caustic showers upon the heads and hearts of those with whom we share this existence?

Words can be chosen like clothes from a closet, and the more of them you know, the more options you have at your command. The more of them you know, the more hues and shades you can use to color your conversation. The more wisely you choose them the more accurate impression you can make. Choose your words as though they were the shirt, jacket, and tie you wear at a job interview or on a date. Clothes don’t make the man, WORDS make the man.

* That adage being that Black folk won’t ever crack open a book.

July 19, 2007 Posted by | Charles Barkley, Creflo Dollar, Encouragement, Humor, Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, Language, Parenting, Political Correctness, Politics, Race, Racism, Respect, Semantics, Word of Faith, Words | Leave a comment

Just a Thought… For the Country Folk

Just how big is a tick’s eye,

and why do we always try to put stuff in it?

July 17, 2007 Posted by | Food for Thought, Humor, Miscellany, Quips | Leave a comment

I HATE Orange Helephinos!

Christopher Hitchens* has to be the angriest atheist in the world. Is it rational to be so angry at that which does not exist? Would I sound sane if I exhibited such anger at the men from Mars (by whom some swear) for not giving mankind the cures for all human diseases, and the secret to ending all conflict? Nurpe!

So why do people look at Hitchens as such a prodigious intellect?

He uses such large words!

He’s so “Stratford-upon-Avon” the way he strings them together so seamlessly.

Hespeakssoefficientlyquickly! Like a swift little pugilist, pummelling one with all manner of jabs that cannot be easily defended.

He is so condescendingly witty- in lieu of strong arguments. He points out so incisively all those ridiculous contradictions in the Bible. Contradictions which billions of Christians over thousands of years were either too stupid or too naiive to notice. He is quite rude, and we all know that tortured geniuses are too ingenuous- I mean inGENIOUS- to suffer the shortcomings of fools!  And “genyasses” are the only ones we allow to be that putridly arrogant! He must be a genius because he is too busy thinking up thoughts to think about combing his hair or wiping all that sweat off!And he’s British! Thaaat’s it! That fact alone is worth forty more IQ points!Honestly, of COURSE he is smart enough to know God exists, he’s just mad at Him for occupying the throne Hitchens aspires to!You, Mr. Hitchens say (on “Hardball, with Chris Matthews”) that our morality is innate. When you say, “innate,” I hear, “God-given.”

Same exact thing.

Where do you think the “sense of right and wrong” comes from? You quote passages egregiously out of context and use them not to make your point, but to make God and the Bible seem ridiculous. You do violence, so to speak, to the truth of Scripture.

If I read a random line from a James Patterson novel that said, “Kill the children,” would I be fair in surmising that Patterson advocates the murder of children? You do no different in your scriptural dart throwing. I could suggest that you study the Bible using fair and established methods of interpretation, but you don’t want to do that. You only use that Book to try to beat God and Christians to death or silence.

You are so intelligent! Way too smart to hand the keys of creation to anyone but Thyself.

 “Innate morality!” Please! You wouldn’t say that if you were boiling in some cannibal’s pot in the Amazon!

“This is wrong, this is WRONG!  This entire enterprise is a travesty!” he shouted, as they stirred, adding cumin for flavor…

You’re more ingenious than that! But, to him, eating you is- innately- the right thing to do. By your reasoning, no one has the right to say ANY act is wrong.

You know that your logic is self-contradictory and flawed.

You know that the universe didn’t order itself, make itself.

You know that you cannot prove a negative.

 You know that you must carry the burden of proving that a thing does NOT exist.

You know that a cell is as structured as a city.

You know what Herculean faith it would take to believe otherwise.

You make people laugh, but l’ll bet you don’t laugh in the solitude of your own thoughts. You know that the test is coming. Eat, drink, and be merry… And be extraordinarily intelligent at the same time.

I know that I am being sarcastic, but I do so for a reason.

A bit of the hair of the dog, eh, wot?

*An author and up-and-coming celebrity

July 17, 2007 Posted by | Arrogance, Atheism, Christianity, Christopher Hitchens, evolution, God, Humor, Religion | 3 Comments

Old Lion, Same Heart

“Within the chests of lions old,Beat hearts that made the blood run cold.” 

Derrick L. Williams

My father is in his sixties now. To most, he would be considered old (to HIMSELF as well!). When I see him, though, I see that same formidable force that l at once feared and loved. “My pop can lick your pop!”

This used to be an often-heard phrase in my and other neighborhoods in a strange, mythical time when fathers actually LIVED with their children. Boys idolized their fathers. I was no exception. The real exception was that, as it pertains to that phrase, my pop really COULD lick your pop. I knew this not just because he said so (which he did), but because everybody who knew him said so, too!

I have seen feats of courage and power and rage that made leaves crumple up and die, that made the sun turn tail and run at high noon! He was a huge, fearsome, fearless, not-to-be-messed-with kind of dude whose transmission had no reverse. He has left a trail on which I could never imagine even taking TWO steps. I mean, why don’t YOU try being the one whose father whupped EIGHT guys at a beach party! No lie. His friends and his own MOTHER told me about it. (My friends couldn’t STAND it when I tried to tell them about it. It was like trying to convince them that he was Santa Claus)

I remember this one time when I was a kid…. We were at my mom’s folks’ farm house in the country. Their house was off a dirt road, and whenever it rained heavily, the ”driveway” became a quagmire. My mother is one of seventeen kids, and it seemed that they all had come to visit on this day. The driveway was full of cars, and cats and dogs were falling from the sky.

When the rain slacked up, everyone prepared to return to their various homes. There was a problem, though: the nine or ten cars piled in the long unpaved drive were all pointed toward the house, and in order for anyone to leave, all the cars had to be turned around. Under dry conditions, all one had to do was simply pull forward and make a right turn around the smoke house. The rain had turned the entire place into mush, though, and my uncles and aunts commenced to getting stuck in mud all around the farm. The place looked like a junkyard. This was apparently a common occurrence down there (why is the country always “down,” and the city always “up”?), because country dudes l had never seen came from seemingly out of the trees.

The country quicksand gave up its captives one by one, and in maybe two hours,only a lone prisoner remained. As many men as could got behind the vehicle to push, but this one happened to be off to the left side of the road in the ditch and seemed to be sunk down to the bumper. They put planks under the rear wheel, but to no avail. I don’t know why I was standing out in the mud watching this except maybe for the fact that I, like all boys, loved mud and dirt and water.

For some reason, my father hadn’t been helping with this car, and after maybe thirty or so minutes of rocking this huge sixties-era behemoth back and forth, someone went and got him.

When he was about twelve or so, my father, being dirt poor in West Palm Beach, Florida worked on an ice truck and saved enough money to buy bags of concrete. He mixed it in a bucket, stuck a pole in until it dried, and repeated the process, making cement barbells with which he bulked himself up from a scrawny kid to a ”muscle-bound” one. He went out for the football team, and by the time he graduated, my father could bench-press 450 pounds, and squat over 700.  In the fifties! No steroids.I’ve got pictures, and the same weights. He played his way to a free college education. (After hearing all this, I was scared to step out onto the stage!)

“Somebody go get Horace. Maybe HE can hep us git tiss thang out!” Somebody did.

All l know is that within two minutes of Pop bracing himself under that bumper, that car was up out of that hole kicking mud all over everybody! My chest was ”swole” up big enough to hold a tractor motor! That wasn’t ANYBODY else’s daddy but mine. All those other daddies couldn’t get that car out of that ditch, no matter how hard they tried, but mine was so strong that a mere touch sent it flying like a smacked horse!

My father is physically -and mentally- stronger than I ever hope to be. To this very day 450 is the goal I hope to reach on the bench press. I mean, he WILLED himself to stop being ticklish! l almost peed on myself trying to duplicate THAT one! He could lift a Volkswagen end by end. He once locked himself in the bathroom with a rodent until he killed it. This was like slaying a dragon to me at the time. I was amazed!

Nerves of steel.

In the wee morning hours, a burglar broke into our house. I was about nineteen. He came in through an unlocked window on the back porch. I don’t know how he knew it was open. My mother had taken to walking in the mornings at the same hour, and it is a blessing that on this particular morning she had decided not to.

While in college, Daddy says that in order to create a draft in his dormitory room, he would sleep with his door open.

“Weren’t you scared someone would come in?” we kids would ask.

“Naw. Whenever somebody walked by the light in the hall, I would wake up.” He was an incredibly light sleeper! My sisters and I spent our entire childhoods trying to sneak up on him while he was asleep. We never could. We never worried about somebody coming in and getting us because we knew they couldn’t get past Daddy.

Apparently, the burglar went down the hall peeking into the bedrooms to see what he could get. I was quartered in the living room because my paternal grandmother,living with us, in the grip of Alzheimer’s, had my room. I learned later what happened here: there was a nightlight plugged in the hallway outlet in order that my grandmother could find the bathroom in the night.

He cracked open the door to my folks’ room. He closed it. This woke my mother, who would normally be awake now, around 5 AM. My father, the light sleeper, said HE heard the backporch door open and assumed that I was rustling around. I was, and am, a nightowl and a jokester.

The crook opened the door again. Here, my parents had two separate thoughts; My mother thought she would whisper, “Who is that?” while Pop thought to himself,

“The silhouette against that nightlight is too short to be Derrick. That’s a burglar. I’m gonna let him come in and jump him and break his bleepity-bleepin’ neck.” As soon as Daddy formed his plan, Ma blew it;”Who is that?”

“DURNit!” is close to what Daddy said.

The door closed slowly. Two seconds later, the crook swung the door opened, flashed the lights on and off again ( an ingenious move that still amazes me) momentarily blinding them, slammed the door shut, and ran out the patio door!

We had a dog at that time who, when he wanted to go outside, would scratch at the patio door something fierce. To prevent this, Daddy put the fan in front of the door. The burglar didn’t know this, and in his rush to escape, he tripped over the fan.

I wish I could tell you that Pop caught and dealt with the guy, but what happened was that I ran from the living room with this huge stick I had, and Daddy came from the bedroom and ran empty-handed out into the backyard in his drawz after the guy. Having been disoriented by the flashing of the lights, Daddy wasn’t able to catch him. I have never forgotten the cold, hard nerve it took to formulate a strategy in the midst of danger.(Could l do the same?) Not to mention the boldness that possessed the burglar to enter a house full of people.

My father isn’t Paul Bunyan, or John Henry, that steel-drivin’ man. They aren’t real. I saw him do these and other things. I never saw fear in his eyes. He ain’t smaller than ANYbody! I’ll never live up to the example he set. But I will always try.

Boys used to be CRAZY about their fathers. Are they still? Will my son see me as a lion, or as a wildebeest?

My father is in his sixties. More yesterdays than tomorrows. Some might say he is a little smaller now. Some might say he’s not as strong. But when I look at him, I only see that man pushing that car out of the mud when five or six others couldn’t. He still has the same heart, the same fire. And he still gets the same reverence from me. He is that same lion.

My pop can lick YOUR pop! Believe me or not, I don’t care. Feel free to think the same way about yours, if you are blessed to have one. If not, make sure that you become the kind of father a son will exalt and emulate.

Age will catch and clutch us all in his withering grip. When you see an old man and assume that that is all he is or was, think of your father and the invincibility he possessed in your eyes. Think about how he protected and fed you, how he killed spiders and ran the bogey man away. Remember the strength and will he had, and how he snatched his piece of the pie from the hands of this avaricious world. Revere that old man, if for no other reason than that he fought life, a formidable foe, and won seventy or eighty rounds.

July 14, 2007 Posted by | Aging, Life, Parents | Leave a comment

Fried Chicken: The Ugly Girlfriend of Foods

White folks like chicken, too.

And watermelon.

And “Catlacks.” * Don’t be fooled.KFC, Popeye’s, Church’s, and Mrs. Winners (hmmm, must not be a feminist) didn’t come into business just to serve the Black man’s love of friiied chick’n! I have stood in line behind many of my caucasian brethren in thesehallo-wed establishments.We kept the jheri curl industry alive on our own, but we need some help with the chicken.

And White folks with the cacciatore and the cordon bleu and the cornish hens step up to the plate with no shame.

So, I reject the shame of that stereotype and order that fried or grilled or baked yardbird proudly every chance I get.  In broad daylight.

I still have to deal with myself about the watermelon and the bro-ham**, though.

Seriously, this is what racism does to us here in America; we are stigmatized for enjoying good stuff, too.

Everything ends up being a putdown.

*Cadillac.

**Brougham, a type of Cadillac.

July 12, 2007 Posted by | Humor, Race, Racism | Leave a comment

Take God Out of Your Pocket

“Keep your religion private.”People say this all the time. Mostly in reference to athletes and public figures. Let me ask this:

How would you feel if you had this beautiful relationship with a person, this wonderful love, and they told you that they wanted to keep it TOTALLY private? How would your wife feel if, when you left home together, you treated her as if she didn’t exist?

Well, why would you expect a Christian to hide his sincere love for the God in whom he believes?  To us, God is as real as your spouse or parent is to you.

A lesbian entertainer, Rosie O’Donnell,I believe, while hosting an awards show,expressed her exasperation at the many winners- mostly rappers and RandB singers- thanking Jesus Christ in their acceptance speeches by making a statement something like, “l just saw God backstage, and He told me to tell the winners not to bother thanking Him, blah blah blah punchline.” The audience ROARED. ( Never mind the dubious sincerity of the thank You’s) But the irony is that that SAME lesbian proudly shoves her alternative sexuality in our collective face saying that there is now, therefore, no condemnation of this once deviant lifestyle. Curious. They attempt to force Christians into the same closet from which they have so triumphantly and trendily emerged.

Christophobes!!

Love for God when on display will, as they say in the kuntry, ”drive yuh or draw yuh.” You will either ‘Amen’ the expression, or be offended. The reason for the former explains itself, but why the latter reaction ? Perhaps it is because, at heart and without the Spirit, people are at odds with God and don’t want to be reminded of  Him in their “in-IKwiteh”,like the Black preachers say. Maybe they don’t want to deal with all the rules that come with the package (neglecting the fact that there are rules in every aspect of life). Maybe they don’t want to hear that their peccadilloes are in fact wrong.

(“Wrong”; an archaic term denoting an act or action not in line with certain laws, norms, or mores)

Maybe they resent being told, even by a God- CERTAINLY not by any of His representatives!- how to live, and that there are eternal consequences for what they do here.

Sometimes when my wife or a friend tells me about some wrong thing I may have done or said, l react with anger or rebuttal, knowing full well the truth of the claim. In interventions, the person being ”intervened” often gets angry at those who care enough to step between him and his compulsion. There could be a parallel here. I am sure, though, that scoffers would say that they simply prefer that religious people keep their religion to themselves.

( I would hasten to add here that, in fairness to Christians, we simply feel that we possess something so overwhelmingly precious that it would be horrendously selfish of us not to share it with the whole world. Or at least bless our food in public.)

So, let me see; you are not bothered by the sight of two women hooking up. You have no problem with the language that sails out over the airwaves. There is nothing wrong with the gossip that passes for INFOTAINMENT. Porngraphy serves a necessary purpose. You are not offended by the CONTENT of a lot of the records that receive awards, but let someone one time thank their “LordanSaviorJeesuhChrist”, or point to the sky after a touchdown, and you pitch a conniption! NObody else sees a problem with this? lt can’t be just ME. And, for the record, God is not too busy to find me a parking space, or to watch a basketball game! Any god whose hands get full is not worthy of worship!

Christianity is a ”personal” relationship, not a ”private” one, and YOU,  Rosie, or whoever you are, don’t get to redefine my personal beliefs for me just so you can remain in your comfort zone.

Your tactics are often effective- reversing the hold by making the ‘perp’ feel ashamed, self-righteous, and judgmental for his PDA towards the Object of his affection. It is the same maneuver gifted gabbers use when on the losing end of an argument. l have used it on my aforementioned wife and friends, knowing I was wrong and just wanting to win. But l was never able to fool myself, and neither can you. “Game reconnize game,” as they say, and the time for truth is now. l can’t OFFICIALLY read your mind, but l know what’s in there. lt’s as if you’ve got a plexiglass forehead.

Remember that cartoon about the man who found the singing frog at the construction site? He was going to be rich! He was going to hit Broadway, the talk shows and the recording industry. One problem: Whenever anyone else was around, the frog wouldn’t sing, and the possessor looked like a fool. No one ever heard the frog sing, and the man eventually went insane. What good is a singing frog if nobody hears it?

Likewise, what good is a faith without evidence?

Without expression?

If a Christian hollers hallelujah in a forest, and no one hears, does he make a difference?

July 11, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Faith, Immorality, Morality, Political Correctness, Truth | 2 Comments

YOU CAN’T WRAP THE POLE AROUND THE SNAKE

If God changed the rules just for you, He would be doing dirt to those condemned all through history. You don’t agree with what you were told the Bible says, or with what you read in it, but you perhaps want to feel “spiritual”, whatever that really means, so you rationalize your desires by changing the properties of God to fit your behavior or thought pattern. You say, and begin to believe, that those fanatic, fundamentalist prudes just took verses out of context in order to oppress and control others.

Only you and those who think like you have the TRUE God. You don’t apply strict hermeneutic principles of interpretation, in fact, you rarely use the Bible at all to find and do God’s will– You and He are TIGHTER than that. He bypasses the Word and speaks to your very heart.
So you develop this world view that lets you get high, or mess around sexually, or think that there is no inherent difference between men and women.

He lets you believe that your countless good deeds will allow you to bypass the normal process of entrance into Heaven. Y’all are tight like that. He knows YOUR heart. The Bible, for you, is no more than a general rule of thumb, having been so irrevocably corrupted by mere men over the centuries.

So, why even bother to read it? It doesn’t matter that what He spoke to YOUR heart was the EXACT opposite of what He told the Muslim, and the Hindu, and the Universalist, and the Jehovah’s Witness, and the Mormon. You say they all are true, and that everyone must find his own path. That is SOOO deep! Wowww!

Never mind the logical absurdity of the whole thing, it works for you, and your life is good right now. Besides, nobody REALLY knows how the whole thing shakes out anyway. We probably will all  just cease to exist when we die, so we should get the most out of life now. You are just playing it safe by putting a chip on every number on the wheel.

Whatever the truth ends up being, though, you KNOW those crazy evangelical pain in the butt repressed know-it-all Christians are the only ones who are DEAD wrong! Any fool can see that!
You and God are TIGHT!
Closer than grits ‘n gravy.
Tighter than a fat man’s shoes, and a ten-year-old Easter suit!
He wouldn’t let you go wrong.

Just one thing, though. You might wanna check just to be sure. I mean, you could leave here now and fall dead. You may have cancer right at this moment, and I would hate to think that someone as thorough as you seem to be might have missed a ‘t’ or an ‘i’.

What kind of God CHANGES? What kind of Supreme Omniscient Being fails to see around a corner or over a hill? Why would He have more than one standard? Why would He call Himself Everything to a Christian and Nothing to a Buddhist? How could He still be God?
Why would He tell some White men that Blacks are cursed and less significant, and tell some Blacks that White folks are devils?
How can He be God and be unable to preserve His Word throughout time?

Why would an infinitely ingenious God leave as the primary means of communication the fragile, inefficient, notoriously unreliable, often darkly wicked human mind? Or the fickle heart which fluctuates like a yo-yo dieter?
Would a true God say one thing about behavior at one point, and then say something else upon further review?
Would a God say “One man, one woman, no ‘co-habitating’, stay sober,” and then change His mind because He now sees that folks’ feelings are getting hurt, and that those views are now “old-fashioned?”
Would a God go out of style?
Would a God truly have a double-standard? One for you, and another for someone else? Wouldn’t His Standard be objective– viewable, knowable from every angle?
I suggest that since you and He are TIGHT you ask Him what and where that Standard is, and for Him to secure IT- and Himself- squarely in the center of your heart.

I say this because I don’t think a god that can be bent and twisted to your will- or my will- is strong or stable enough to do anything for anybody, let alone create a Heaven or an Earth. Let that god crumble amid the ruins.

I’m just looking out for you. Just a little common sense…

Cuz we TIGHT like that.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Common Sense, God, Morality, Political Correctness, Relativism, Religion, Truth | 1 Comment

GODzillas In ‘Gator Shoes

Real monsters have no sharp teeth and bulging eyes.

They don’t have swinging tails or leathery skin.

Real monsters are smooth and attractive.
They wear fine clothes and drive glorious cars paid for by you.
They wear pinky rings and gilded crosses.
They live in homes mortgaged with your souls.
They whisper nothings in your ear that make you rely on your own inabilities.
They put you on a pedestal and pull God down.
They erase His features and draw yours.
They increase your desire for money, while ironically divorcing you from the little you have.
They calmly close your Bible and gaze into your eyes sincerely.
“We won’t be needing this,” they whisper, smiling. “I got a story to tell.”

You become so enchanted that you follow THEM.

Rather than the God they falsely proclaim.

God’s Word is the microscope that can show you the REAL face of the monster,
but you wield it – if at all- awkwardly, like a child swinging an axe.
The monster has you now.
And you don’t recognize him.

Because you think that real monsters growl.

But real monsters are cunning.
They know that in order to feed, they must sneak up quietly.
Real monsters, false profits, engorge themselves on your ignorance.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Charlatans, Christianity, False Prophets, False Teachers, Pulpit Pimps, Religion, Truth, Word of Faith | 2 Comments

DIVORCEES AND THRIFT STORE SHOES: Kindred Spirits

Who did Adam talk to when he was mad at Eve?

EVE!
Those two were forced to deal with each other.
There were no girlfriends going ”UM-hmm, girrrl. He ain’t nudd’n but a dawwwg, nohow!”
No drinking partners pointing out someone else finer.
No Oprah, no ball game,
only each other.

And Cain wasn’t a divorce lawyer.

It is so easy now to find other things to do rather than fix a broken marital situation.
Marriage has been reduced to what dating used to be.
”Sometimes things just don’t work out,” and you go your separate ways.
You can both trot back out into the world thinking that the next hookup will be the one, and that you are not the irregular jeans, the stale bread, the flat sodas that you really are.

Not so fast, men!
Leave half your stuff, your house, the good car, and ALL your kids!

Man up and work it out like grown folks!

July 6, 2007 Posted by | Divorce, Immorality, Juanita Bynum, Marriage, Paula White, The Battle of The Sexes | 3 Comments

A GODly ANTIHISTAMINE

My cousin has died. He was the big brother l always wanted, but never had.
It hurts awfully, but not as much as it did yesterday.
Tomorrow will be just a little easier.
What helps is the knowledge that he, being a believer, is gone from his body, but there with God.
The cold water to the face is the fact that each one of us will have to step up to the front of this life line and give our mortality back to our Maker.

Death is an ink stain on the fabric of life.
No matter how many times we scrub it, no matter how clean it looks,
the stain, the hurt, the fact, will never be completely gone.
And it is our own doing.

God, who cannot bear the company of sin, is like one of those bubble-kids without an immune system who cannot bear the presence of the merest germ. The environment must be completely pure.

The fact that one person at the dawn of time committed one seemingly insignificant internal transgression- no murder, no theft, no lie, no assault…- caused God such discomfort, if you will, that the ENTIRE creation suffered. Tornadoes, plane crashes, rapes, cancers, heart failures, carnivorous animal attacks. Arthritis, senators, torn cartilage, cross-burnings, job stress, cavities, chicken pox, murder. Hypothermia, abortion, divorce, perversion, K-cars, BEETS.
All because of one sin.

HE sneezed and the whole universe got the cold.

The thing is, though, that God Himself solved the problem. (This is the beauty of the Christian way that separates it from any other belief system. How can proclamation of this worldview be deemed arrogant? When no merely human hand can take credit?)
We have proven incapable of fixing it ourselves anyway. He clothed Himself in the very kind of flesh which was at the genesis of the issue.
He was, in Jesus, the antihistamine that mankind needed to stem the allergic reaction.

Look at it like this: Jesus took upon Himself the punishment for our crimes. He did the time, so to speak, for our contamination of God’s pure, sinless environment.
(And if you think you don’t deserve to be punished for what some guy may or may not have done thousands of years ago, you have committed enough transgressions of your own to suffice. Check your records!)

In doing so, He allowed us to be viewed by the Father through righteous-tinted lenses. We, still being wretched and depraved, are allowed access to fellowship on ACCOUNT of Jesus’ sinless life and work on the cross.

In the same sense, when l sneeze uncontrollably in early spring, l take some form of histamine blocker to assuage it. While l am still covered in pollen, l live as though free. This is Jesus! My allergies still exist, but l am assured of being able to go out into the world knowing that the Medicine is unfailingly, unceasingly effective.

July 5, 2007 Posted by | Death, God, Jesus, Salvation, Sin, The Fall, The Nature of God | Leave a comment

God: The Ultimate Indulgent Parent

Good parents try to give their kids (Yes! l said ”kids”) everything they need and most of what they want. It is common knowledge, however, that over-indulgent parents give their children all of what they want and little of what they actually need, like discipline and home-training (Yes! l said ”training”). Some young-uns get cars(!) as gifts while still in school, others get to talk back to their parents (WAY worse), and yet others can commit crimes and have their mothers defend their abhorrent behavior on the news.

 
What does that have to do with God? Is He over-indulgent? Of course not. God is the perfect Parent. He gives us what we need even when it is the LAST thing we want. But in the ultimate sense He indulges our want ( our will, if you will) even when He knows it is not what we need.

 
A lot of us have a serious problem with the concept of Hell. To the extent that we mis-characterize what it actually is, calling it torture (rather than torMENT– big difference), and accusing God of roasting us on a never-ending rotisserie (a lie). l believe l understand why people do this.

 
l remember an incident when l was a boy and was playing the brat. My mother had told me “no” to some request or other (Oh, my goodness! Call the ‘thorities! Thass aBUSE!), and l said something –not disrespectful — but stupid. I knew it then as now. She said, “Don’t make stupid remarks.” l immediately jumped on the victim wagon:

 
“You called me STUPID!”, trying to make her feel sorry and apologize. She didn’t take the bait.
“Boy, you KNOW l didn’t call you ‘stupid’!” (Yes, she called me “Boy”)

 
That was that. I never forgot it. And l never had the chance to, because l witnessed hundreds of incidences of the same tactic being used on teachers, boyfriends, wives, Bill O’Reilly, basketball players, and friends from that moment to this. We love to play the injured party, the awfully wronged individual, and those of us who accuse God of running a Cosmic abattoir are simply attempting to label Him as unfair. They are setting the table for that moment when, after having lived a life in willful ignorance of His precepts, offended by His commands, they enter into His presence with their homework left undone. (“Your hell hounds ATE my homework!”)

 
He has made it clear; Hell is a ”place” intended for those who foolishly tried to overthrow Him, not for we humans. Hell is a ”place” of torment, of symbolic fire, not literal (note: it is also called ”outer darkness” What fire is dark?) flames, kind of like eternal heartburn at the loss of so much. When seeing what is missed, there will be no shortage of SELF-torment! God doesn’t ENJOY this. What kind of God would? That is just more chaff.

 
He is, however, firm and just enough to stick to His guns and not be swayed from Perfectness by poor approval ratings. God won’t be sweet talked or suckered by childish tactics employed by folks who never showed a true desire for a relationship with Him. He stands at the door and knocks, all the while strong enough to kick it in. But since when is coerced love true? We are not SENT to Hell, God merely steps aside and lets us go our way. We have two things; free will, and the facts. God will neither violate our will nor hide the truth. He is the perfect Parent, and ultimately indulgent in this sense; Whether we want Heaven with Him, or Hell without Him, we will get OUR way.

July 3, 2007 Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, God, Hell, Parenting, Religion | Leave a comment

Men Have the Strength, But Women Have the Power

Men can lift heavy objects, kill bears, and fend off burglars. We can squash slugs, and live comfortably amidst a room full of partially eaten pizzas, decaying chicken parts, and dirty drawz without the slightest HINT of nausea. Our muscles are bigger, and our bones denser and heavier than those of women.
But women! They have the POWER! They have the one magnetic thing that all we men notice. Influence! With this one thing, they hold us dangling at the end of a long, thick rope. What man of you doesn’t live for the pleasure that a woman brings? (l’m speaking generally, here) To hear her say, ”Yes,” or,”I know you can do it,” or l need you?” In a thousand conversations with the guys over the years, the conclusion l’ve reached is that, ultimately, the only reason we do ANYTHING is to get women.
A man’s life is a great big old river, the mouth of which empties into the ocean of a woman’s lap! Think about it… Why do we shave? Wear cologne? Do you care what l think about how your face feels, or how you smell? When you boil it all the way down, why do Brothers put “rims” on a car they can’t afford in the first place? Why do we work jobs that kill us and buy big houses that will eat up every minute of our spare time? Apart from the need to eat, why do we work at ALL? To impress a woman, that’s why, and you KNOW it!
l’m not being cynical. Shoot! There’s NOTHING better than having a lady think that what you are doing is cool. l’m fine with that. l have sold out to the process, too. l don’t hate it. Why do you think Michael Jordan stuck the ball out there, drew it back, and stuck it out there again before he dunked it? It still only counted for two points. Why did Magic Johnson look away when he passed the ball? To quote Bill Parcells, out of context,”Why d’you think we lift all them weights?” ‘Cause chicks were watching!
It goes WAY back for me.
l was in the first grade. I can see it like it just happened: We were outside for recess, all happy and enjoying life, and l noticed in the distance a group of female teachers watching us from the sidewalk at the top of the hill that divided the playground from the school area. We kids were running around playing reindeer games, and with the ladies watching, l had to find a way to stand out. l saw my chance when we were called to come back inside. I was going to show them how fast l was by racing the other kids to the sidewalk.
Unbeknownst to me, some kid with a weak constitution had decided to unload his morning repast, along with some stomach acid, onto the sidewalk (don’t you get ahead of me! let me tell the story!). So, we’re all running to the sidewalk with me in the lead, as l was the only one with an agenda. Rather than run towards the school- to the right of where l was headed- which was the logical move, l made a beeline to where the ladies were standing.
l reached the sidewalk, which was on a rise, first and dropped triumphantly at their feet (slightly to the left, to be accurate), pretending to be out of breath from my hard-won victory. l leaned belly down onto the sidewalk, (“Whoooh! I’m so tiiied from all dat athletic runnin‘, an’ bein’ in firss place, an stuff!”) and as l looked up at them, expecting to be showered with praise for my speed and skill, l felt something cold an wet on the front of my shirt.
Yeah, you got it. Out of ALL the places for me to cross the finish line, l had to pick the spot where little Billy left his food! lnstead of praise -and kisses?- what l got was laughed at by grown women! They looked at each other, and turned and walked into the school, leaving me there with somebody’s Cream of Wheat on my shirt. For trying to please a woman, l got to spend half a day looking like l fell on a crap-grenade and smelling like a garbage truck. It was the first of many times l was to be embarrassed at the altar of womanhood.
The whole thing is about women. Short of God and Heaven. There is no better feeling than to be walking in the mall and have one of them smile and nod approvingly. l know. l’ve seen it happen to friends of mine. They told me how it felt. They said it felt like having a unicorn walk up to you and eat from your hand. That sounds cool…! Women are like birds who only light on the shoulders of a precious, select few -not like pigeons- although there ARE a few pigeons around, but they are the hogs of the air. And we men live for the feeling of being smooth enough to be chosen by the prettiest birds (l personify, not objectify).
All men know this. Ask some of the less aesthetically pleasing athletes (Rodman?), or the more balled-up, thrown-away, retrieved and recycled of our musicians (Mick Jagger? Keef Richard? Bobby Brown? Shabba?*). The first thing they do is buy longer belts for more notches. Guys who would otherwise not be even a blip on a woman’s radar all of a sudden become ”deep,” ”interesting,” and “sexy.” Their fame is used strictly for womanly conquest.
It is what we want; to be seen as significant by women, and their power lies in the fact that we compost-headed brutes went and let them KNOW it!
They have the power to make a celebrity take millions of dollars and give them to her for a few months of ”marriage.” Or to reproduce with them, knowing that in a few short days, she will be leaving with the fruit-o-the-loin. They have the power to, with a few words, or even just a look, break a man down to a few random molecules. To make him get a duffel bag and barricade himself in a house somewhere and fight ALL the cops.
A man’s wife or woman has the singular ability to bob and weave past all the defenses he uses to fend off the relentless assails of the outer world. A co-worker or a boss can be verbally abusive to no end and not hurt as bad as ONE perceived act of seeming disrespect from the missus.

Don’t tell ’em, though. This is a privileged conversation- strictly between us.

But for those of you ladies who eavesdrop, take heart and have mercy. Don’t nag us and beat us down. Don’t abuse the power you have, as you so often accuse us of doing.
Be the bigger man!

*Shabba Ranks.  A nineties-era Jamaican rapper, somewhere between the Predator monster and a 30 minute microwave McNugget. Sorry. 

July 3, 2007 Posted by | Humor, The Battle of The Sexes, The Man-Woman Thing | 7 Comments

TURN LOOSE THAT MICROPHONE!

TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE A VOICE

Everybody has a forum today, and many of them don’t deserve it. And, yes, I DO taste the irony in my mouth… Everybody has a mic in his mouth and a camera in his face speaking his opinions and attitudes and predilections to the world, changing the idea of what is acceptable.
We — Blacks– are marketing a version of ourselves to the world that is distorted and degraded. We aren’t ALL about sangin and daincin and runnin and jumpin, which IS beautiful. We have surgeons and mechanics and pilots and programmers. But prison, gang life, and “skrip clubs”* are the prevailing images we present. We appear to be childishly materialistic and distressingly carnal.
We, like all cultures, have a well-rounded array of attributes to offer the world. Sadly, though, our entertainment-obsessed society refuses to be distracted long enough to notice anything except all the “Mantanning.” Just as the internet was immediately commandeered by porn-peddlers and identity thieves, hip-hop, once upbeat and promising, has been given over to the basest of human behavior in a relatively short time. As the beats got better, the content got darker. And I don’t want to hear that, “lt’s no different than ‘The Godfather’ ” argument! Marlon Brando never got into a fight with Robert DeNiro at the Academy Awards. John Wayne’s security never shot Kirk Douglas’ “manager” over some beef about who was the baddest fake gunslinger. Theirs was truly just MAKE BELIEVE!
Okay, you have a forum, now. Don’t use it to glorify the aspects of ghetto life that everyone generally wants to escape. Why is that not a fair request? Drug infestation, sexual irresponsibility, high crime, illiteracy…. What is good about any of this?

”If I wasn’t rappin’, I’ll probly be in jail.”

Nowadays, with the glorification of prison life I don’t see where that would be seen as a bad thing! Why not be in the midst of that which you glorify? Sagging pants, tattoos, untied shoes, ”down-low” brothahood, all these trends are said to come from jail. Prison chic. Whoda thunk it? What do you expect, though, with more brothers in jail or on probation than in college?
Let’s just get this straight: Ain’t NUTHIN cool about jail. If you wanna do something that proves how hard you are, join the Marines or go to Africa and kill a lion with a knife. Or marry the girl you impregnated, and stay there and raise freekin’ citizens! At least then, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting shanked in the throat or being raped or being forced to braid hair in a halter-top!
Another thing, everybody “on lock” ain’t a political doggone prisoner! Some people in jail actually did it! They ain’t all heroes or victims of racism (some are, to be sure). Let’s worry about rehabbing and returning to society with a positive story to tell. Prove to your people that you didn’t deserve to go, or that you regret what you did. Then you would be truly respected. As it is now, I don’t want my kids being role-modeled by some cat with a prison mentality.

“lf l wasn’t rappin’, l’ll probly be climbing through your window.”

And if l heard you, you’d probably be getting shot! Just kidding. No, l ain’t. So, your point is…? That if it weren’t for us giving you platinum chains, 22 inch rims, and a boat, you would just take what WE have? What makes that a cool thing to say? How does that make me wanna say, “Ooh, l gotta go get that ‘Gangstafied’ cd, cuz he so HORD! I gotta keep him paid so he don’t jack nobody.” So, you get it from us one way or another… l admire strength and power, too, but l want to know that a person has some artistic integrity before l go out and spend what l earned on him. People spend their food money on a lot of this trash, and all they get in return is a mind full of rotten potatoes and used baby diapers masquerading as art.
Kids who can barely speak (toddlers AND teens) quote this musical iodine like Scripture, talking about pimpin’ and stripping techniques and drug transactions and prison sentences.
But they can’t write a sentence!
The videos are so explicit, that I feel I need to put a trench coat on before I watch them. I’m not a Puritan, or a prude, but sex belongs in a context – a category – and a music video is not it. I don’t go to “skrip” clubs, or solicit prostitutes, or violate my marriage vows. Not because I’m so good and pure, but because I’m tethered to a Standard way higher than my own ability keep from to slipping and falling prey to my weaknesses. Stop pouring grease on a wet floor!

”If I wasn’t rappin’, I’ll probly still be sellin’ drugs. Thass how I paid f’ my firss album.”

Well. That’s cool to know. Selling drugs. At least you’re not perpetuating any STEREOTYPES and making it hard for me to, say, drive my nice car through a White neighborhood! Matter of fact, l can’t even BUY the car l like because that’s the one the ‘dope boys’ drive. What you do now is no different than selling drugs, anyway. The wanton, glorified violence and irresponsible sexuality you peddle is probably more insidious. And it is just as addictive and generally devoid of hope and purpose.
The “Not My Problem” rationale you employ so lamely is the same as the dealer’s:
“Iss the parent’s responsibility.” lt’s so obvious you heard somebody else say that.
“If you got a prahlem wit it, turn the channel.” To what? it’s everywhere! I can’t even watch a sitcom without hearing cursing! And every month, a new word gets admitted. Pretty soon, the only reason to watch pay TV will be to see snuff films and executions. Am I to be expected to walk through life blindfolded to keep from being offended? Is it now MY responsibility to sidestep your un-scooped poop?
“If l wasn’t givin’ it to ’em, SOMEbody would.”
But, why does it have to be YOU?
Well, take your ample share of the responsibility and wear it proudly. Wear proudly the fact that in so short a time, we have gone from martyrs in a righteous cause to the office joke. From glowing accomplishments to debauchery, from jazz to sequenced ignorance, from scatting to Ebonics. Be proud that in a community on the precipice of collapse, where practically NO one has a father, where children learn nothing in the way of discipline and order, where all they learn from the outside world is of the excess and permissiveness of the majority, where their souls are hemorrhaging at the brink of extinction, be proud that rather than help stop the bleeding, you instead rummage through their pockets taking what little hope they have left. The lessons they learn, YOU teach them, for you are all they hear. Your foul lyrics are the words to their too short life stories. “Selfish” is way too soft a word for what you do to your own people, your FAMILY, in a sense. And don’t bother thanking God for your “Shake it Like it’s Hot Up in Here” award, unless you mean to thank Him for not smiting you for producing so much gabbage! Don’t say you love Jesus for your material blessings, because HE said that,”What you do to the least of these, you do to ME.” Marinate on THAT!
And now ain’t the time to talk about what the White Man did. The White Man didn’t cause the over 70% out of wedlock birth rate or the outrageous murder rate. The White man didn’t tell you to drop out, or to not read a BOOK! He didn’t force the production of gangsta rap or the glorification of thug life. Nope, the Blame the White Man peg, sometimes justified, won’t fit in THIS hole. We did this one to ourselves. Deal with it. Change it. And GIVE that durn microphone to somebody who has something to SAY!

*Strip Clubs

July 2, 2007 Posted by | Art, Celebrity, Fame, Gangsta Rap, Hip-Hop, Music, Personal Responsibility, Race | 3 Comments