Black People Are Never Victims

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Isn't it great how we are never the victims in crimes.

Sleeping around is wrong. Hey, I can even roll with the people who say it tarnishes your rep and makes you a bad person.

It doesn't mean you should be killed.

Steve McNair was murdered folks.

That's wrong, oh, I don't know... 100% of the time.

Just a thought.

I've read a lot of posts attacking McNair and "keeping it real" about his mistakes. The worst was probably written by Jason Whitlock (I wont link to it, but hell, if you found my blog you can definitely find his article). I'm still wrapping my mind around everything that is wrong with the current direction of Whitlock and his writings, but several more capable bloggers have completely ripped him to shreds on both his McNair take and his equally awful rip on Serena Williams.

Sports on my Mind
The Starting Five
The Black Snob
And The Valley Shook

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Breaking News! BET Stinks! Oh. Wait. That's not really news at all....

The BET Awards was 100% the hot shitty mess I anticipated. In the back of my head, I held out a small bit of hope that they might change things up, scrap the scheduled performances and just do a night of musical tributes to MJ while presenting the awards. Hell, a night of just Ne-Yo covering MJ classics would have even been ok to me.

But, that was just too much.

So we ended up with everything from pre-teen girls to Ving Rhames mumbling some BS about guns.

Pretty much business as usual at BET and the reason why I rarely watch "our" television network anymore.

But, I must say I am surprised by all the outrage about the awards.

Or better yet, I am surprised that people were surprised at how bad the awards were.

Most of my circle had abandoned BET a long time ago. We just got sick of the constant negative portrayals and complete lack of substance.

Now, BET has failed rather spectacularly in front of what was likely a pretty big audience. With a chance to really make a statement and push the network toward something meaningful (or at least fool the rest of the world for one), BET was pretty much business as usual.

Now people are pissed, but I'm just shrugging my shoulders.

BET has been complete shit for years now. So many have poured so much energy into trying to get "our" television station to change its ways and present a better image of us.

That has all resulted in such wonderful programming as The Tiny and Toya show and Frankie & Neffie. When I sit and think about my friends who are struggling to make positive films and shows, but these 4 get their own shows on "our" network, it used to make me angry and sad.

Now, I am just left with more shoulder shrugging.

I guess I'm just tired.

To those who have been fighting the good fight and continue to fight it, much respect.

But to those who just showed up after the BET Awards, I really just want to know where have you been? BET didn't become coon central overnight.

Its been setting new lows for years.

There is nothing I would love more than for us to have a positive TV network discovering talented up and coming artists. Hell, I could easily forgive some rap videos if there were just some balance in the programming.

But, I guess I have just conceded that BET is not and never will be it.

It's long past time to throw our support behind other networks and other avenues to get better black entertainment out there.

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Bill O'Reilly Questions Black Support of MJ

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

O'Reilly wonders why Black America is rallying behind Michael Jackson, especially given his decision to have children with white women and his complexion issues.

I think he's off base, but I guess I can see where he is coming from. I won't waste energy on the other morons on his show.

Basically, I don't think Michael ever really turned his back on the black community.

First, Jackson was a superstar on a whole 'nother stratosphere. There simply has never been a more popular black entertainer in history. I think Jackson just embraced his fans of all colors and backgrounds. I never really felt like he openly pushed away any of his fans.

Second, and I'm sure many will disagree with this take, but I don't take his selecting white women to birth his children as an outright shunning of the black community either. I guess I am so used to interacial couples and children that it just doesn't much phase me either way. Yes, he could have chosen a black woman, but...well...he didn't. I'm not sure that is an out and out turning his back on the community either.

Last but not least, is his complexion and his alleged surgeries. This is what really seems to give people trouble. Michael always claimed his changing complexion was the result of disease and denied the number of surgeries he had. Of course, the internet is full of allegations and rumors about whether he really had a disease and how many operations he truly had.

What's true and what's not? We will probably never know.

But I don't think it matters. Whether by disease, surgery or a combo of both, Michael's changing appearance never struck me as a turning back on the black community.

More like, trying to fix things his dad convinced him were flaws.

When pressed about the change in his appearance by a reporter, Michael responded that white people spend millions of dollars each year on tanning and no one ever questions it or attacks their whiteness. I couldn't agree more.

Michael and the entire Jackson family have always embraced the black community. Michael's charitable works are literally in the record books. Michael soared to heights most of us didn't think were possible. He was a pioneer in every sense of the word and it will take a lot more than surgery and interacial children to shatter that.

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Respect the Dead

The community has been rocked twice on both ends of the entertainment spectrum with both Michael Jackson and Steve McNair passing away. While McNair was nowhere near the star that Michael Jackson was, his age and the shocking circumstances surrounding his death have left even the most casual sports fan glued to their computer for more information.

Despite the various controversies surrounding both men, the reaction of the general public has been pretty respectful toward both of the deceased.

The media? Well, that's a different story.

No doubt, Michael Jackson has gotten a ton of attention and everyone has an opinion.

Off top, Michael Jackson was the King of Pop. I'm really sick of people slapping that "self-proclaimed" qualifier on his King of Pop title. The man had more talent than probably every artist currently on the Billboard charts excluding himself. His music knew no bounds and touched the hearts of people from other countries who could not even understand the words.

But what about the children? Well, say what you will, but although I found his views on children to be disturbing, I don't think Michael did anything sexual with any of the boys. And the disturbing aspects for me was more toward how sad Michael's life must have truly been.

Jackson, at least from the view here on my couch, didn't surround himself with children for sexual reasons. He did it not only because he never had a childhood, but also because the kids were likely the only people in his life who just treated him like a person and not some thing.

While media pundits are quick to add in the whole "self-proclaimed" label to Jackson, its what they leave out that bugs me most. He was never found guilty of anything in a criminal court. Yes, he settled a civil suit, but rich white people do stuff like that literally all the time and no one brings it up anymore.

Jackson, for all his talents, was a very also a man deeply hurt by both the stardom he achieved starting from his childhood and the harsh treatment by his father. Go back and listen to him talk about people staring at him as he walked in stores and his father ridiculing him because his nose was "too big." It is really no wonder that the man had wrestled with so many issues.

Some of my circle are quick to jump on me and say "what if it was my child?" Well, that's a real easy one.

My kid would not have been over there without me present and maybe not even then. Period.

As for Steve McNair, this one really hit me off guard. It has been very hard for me to really formulate thoughts on this one as I wrestling with the guy I idolized in college and the mistake that cost him his life.

I remember seeing McNair play in college as I also attended a school in the SWAC. I had never seen a guy play like that and I'm not sure if I have seen anyone else display that kind of ability on the college level. McNair always came across as good, humble guy. He was beloved in Mississippi and had a large presence in the community.

He was also, apparently, an adulterer.

McNair was apparently carrying on a relationship with a girl almost half his age and it looks like that mistake cost him his life. For everyone who tries to take the high road and simply choose to remember the good things about McNair, there are others who insist that this transgression tarnishes his legacy, blah, blah, blah...

I guess.

Look, McNair was not the first nor the last man to go out and date a younger woman. I literally can not name all the politicians who have been caught in the middle of the same scandals.

I say this not to minimize adultery. McNair was wrong and I think everyone knows that.

But, the man appears to have paid for his mistake with his life. His sons will be fatherless. His wife appears to be completed blindsided and stunned. The family of the young lady seems to be equally shocked. All these people now have to pick up the pieces and try to move on with their lives.

I think that that is more than enough of a price to pay for making a mistake. There is really just no need to pile on here. If this event changed your opinion of McNair, and it probably did, that is pretty understandable. However, I can do without people jumping up and spitting out some self-righteous bullshit. Again, there are just far too many examples of people being exposed for taking the moral high ground on an issue that they were also failing to live up to.

Respect the dead folks.

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Back on the block....

Wow. The last few months have really been a blur. Between work and traveling there was just no time for me to write. But, with the 4th behind me and things settling down at work a bit, its time for me to start back rambling...

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