Monthly Archives: December 2007

Are Black People Still Celebrating Kwanzaa?

“As family and friends gather to celebrate Kwanzaa, our citizens are reminded of the many African Americans who have contributed their talent and strength to this great Nation. I commend those observing this holiday for taking pride in your rich heritage. May the coming year be filled with the blessings of health and happiness. ” – GEORGE W. BUSH

Did you know that President Bush issues a Kwanzaa message?  Probably not…because you don’t care. 

I remember when Kwanzaa was in vogue.  When we were are wearing leather medalions with a red, gold and green Africas in the middle.  When my mom used to make and sell those…lol.  Custom, custom people.  Kente cloth sashes, headwraps and fake kswahili greetings.  You know the drill.  LOL

I wish that the holiday had caught on.  Other than Martin Luther King Jr.’s B-day and in some states Juneteenth, Kwanzaa is the most known but least celebrated black holiday.  Maybe if it was in the summertime when Negros could bar-b-que or plan an outdoor festival sponsored by Crown Royal or Hennessey.  Maybe someone should write a Kwanzaa anthem with a party line dance, like the “Booty Call”.   Even better,  if black folks could get the full 7 days off of work for the holiday we would happily celebrate with handmade cultural gifts and create a atmosphere of afrocentric celebration during the winter holidays.  I’m sure that marketers would see the opportunity to harness the collective, random, wanton consumerism that so radiates from the black community.

Kwanzaa themed Nikes and Timberland boots in the liberation colors
Red, black, and green (Rubies, Onyx, and Emerald) grills for your mouth
Kwanzaa themed mixed tapes sold all around the hood
Kwanzaa ring tones (Something like “Today is Nia!”…or something like that)

Eh…just a thought.  You never know.  I found an interesting article in the Washington Post yesterday about the holiday…

These days, though, I fear for the future of Kwanzaa. The latest figures, from a 2004 study by the National Retail Foundation, say that just 13 percent of African Americans observe the holiday. Continue reading

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Female Sex Tourists and Caribbean Men

You can get a “rental dread”, aka. a contemporary Caribbean gigolo?!?!?  Wow.  This video is not brand new either…from the clothing.  I can only imagine that the trade is even stronger now.  I’m just mad that “old girl” said they “prey” on women…come on.   Like they are all innocent and being taken advantage of.  Sigh…white women can’t just want some black dick, huh?  That just not possible, huh?  These women are johns to these poor black men.  Seduced by the big manhood and the dreadlocks….Lord have mercy!  Everyone has their fantasy on both sides I guess…or at least their own motives…that’s for sure.

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Watch It: Goodbye Uncle Tom

This movie may be quite simply the most shocking, screamingly offensive blaxploitation movie of all time!!! is an unabashedly incendiary look at race relations in America during the early seventies that’s guaranteed to leave your jaw on the floor. This movie has it’s flaws, as critics like Robert Ebert have pointed out. However, I rank it right up there with Sankofa on the scale of movies that illuminate the horror, the absolute inhumane nature of the institution of slavery…no sugar coating.

The Italian filmmaking team of Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi’s 1971’s GOODBYE UNCLE TOM (a.k.a. ADDIO ZIO TOM) (view it here) is an epic that puts the team’s documentary background to good use and outdoes all their other films in sheer outrageousness. Some would say that this pseudo-documentary is arguably the most shocking (yet effective) cinematic treatment of slavery and its consequences, surpassing all the others–ROOTS, MANDINGO, DRUM, AMISTAD, ILL-GOTTEN GAINS, BELOVED and MANDALAY. Well, I can say that this movie has something to anger just about anyone. Want to see it…there are some clips available on YouTube (I think the whole movie is on Google Movies). Here are some comments from others.

I thought this site summed it up well…

The movie is filmed as if modern filmmakers took a trip the antebellum south and recorded what they saw there, with an emphasis on the most inhuman stuff they could find. So, we get to see rape, torture, children being sold as sex toys, beatings, and just about everything else you can think of. Even when there are not massive amounts of violence on the screen, it’s still pretty disturbing. There’s a shot of a little white girl and a little black boy running through a field together; after a little while you realize the girl has the boy on a leash. And about every five minutes, there’s someone prattling on about the inferiority of blacks people. Much of the dialog comes from the actual letters and documents of time, so at least there’s some devotion to historical accuracy. I’m not sure how accurate everything else is, but even if only 10 percent of it is true, it would still be absolutely horrible.

In the end, Goodbye, Uncle Tom is not so much a racist movie as it is a completely tasteless movie. It’s like watching a John Waters-directed version of Black Like Me – whatever lessons about racism there are to be learned, they’ll be overshadowed by the scenes of transvestites getting hit in the face with colostomy bags. I have no problems with a discussion of race relations or the horrors of slavery, but bringing a Jerry Springer-type sensibility to it is a really bad idea. The movie stands as a testament to good intentions gone completely awry.

Robert Ebert says…

The movie gloats over scenes of human degradation. And this time there isn’t even the excuse of documentary; every scene in this movie was specifically staged. Unfortunately, Jacopetti and Prosperi have been able to find people willing to undergo the humiliation inflicted on them in “Farewell Uncle Tom“; most of the blacks in the film are apparently Africans forced by poverty and need to do these things for a few days’ pitiful wages.

This is cruel exploitation. If it is tragic that the barbarism of slavery existed in this country, is it not also tragic — and enraging — that for a few dollars the producers of this film were able to reproduce and reenact that barbarism?

Make no mistake. This movie itself humiliates its actors in the way the slaves were humiliated 200 years ago. A man without a hand is photographed shoving mash into his mouth from a trough. Very young girls are mocked in auction scenes. Pregnant women — women who are really pregnant — are corralled into a scene about the “breeding” of slaves. The fact that this film could find a booking in a legitimate motion-picture theater is depressing.

You can read the rest of Robert Ebert’s take here.

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3 white men convicted of attempted murder for stabbing black man

The Associated Press reports that three reputed white supremacists were convicted Friday of attempted murder, assault and committing a hate crime for stabbing a black man.Joseph Dale McCool, 21, of Yucca Valley, Anthony Scott Allen, 24, of Big Bear City, and Ryan Christopher White, 29, of Joshua Tree were convicted by a jury after nearly three days of deliberation for the 2006 stabbing and kicking of Charles Washington as they used racial epithets.

The jury found that Allen did not use a knife, but McCool and White did.

Their cohort Chad Timothy Wilson, 21, struck a deal and pleaded no contest to being an accessory to the attack after the fact. He was sentenced Thursday to three years probation and one day in jail, authorities said.  McCool, Allen and White were scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 2.

On Dec. 8, 2006 the four men made a stop in Claremont, a college town about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, while en route to a white supremacist rally at the West Los Angeles Federal Building, prosecutors said.   As many as 12 white men exchanged words with two black men outside a liquor store, and the confrontation led to the attack on Washington, authorities said.

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Jury convicts Black man in murder of white youth

by SAEED SHABAZZ
Special to the AmNews


“What this jury has done is nullify 400 years of history in this country,” stated defense attorney Fred Brewington after a Suffolk County jury of 10 whites, one Latino and one Black convicted John White, 54, of second-degree manslaughter in the killing of a 17-year-old white youth, Daniel Cicciaro, Jr., The conviction came after four days of deliberation.
Brewington argued that Cicciaro was part of a “mob” that had gathered in the White’s front yard on the night of Aug. 9, 2006. The charge carries a sentence of five to 15 years in prison. White was also convicted of criminal possession of an unlicensed weapon, a .32 caliber Baretta pistol.
According to testimony, Cicciaro and his friends confronted White and his son Aaron, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, because of an e-mail message that said young Aaron wanted to rape a 15-year-old white female. It has been revealed that a friend of Aaron’s was actually responsible for the e-mail, which had been sent some nine months before the shooting.
“Thank you God,” said the victim’s mother after the verdict was rendered, adding, “It was the power of prayer—My son is finally vindicated.
During the racially charged trial, the defense produced testimony that the victim used racial epithets, while his family denied that he was a racist.
“It was never about race—It was about a person’s actions and being responsible for those actions,” Cicciaro’s mother told reporters. “They can stop slinging mud at my son’s name and accusing him of all this racism,” Daniel Cicciaro, Sr., told reporters outside of the courtroom.
Brewington called the verdict “disappointing for African Americans.”
“John White and his family were scared to death—a justification for going out [into the front yard] to protect your family,” he said.
Lead prosecutor James Chalifoux, while acknowledging that the teens used epithets, said the trial did not hinge on race, but rather on the rash actions of a quick-tempered man who kept an arsenal in his house in preparation for such a situation. Prosecutors said White, who was originally charged with second-degree murder, which carries a prison term of 25 years, escalated the tensions by wielding a firearm and “deliberately” shooting young Cicciaro. Continue reading

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UW’s Bo Ryan cranks dat Soulja Boy

This dance is reaching epidemic proportions.  This is UW Men’s head basketball coach, Bo Ryan, doing the Soulja Boy Dance.  Oh Wisconsin…who would have thought.

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Recent deaths cause fear in Chicago’s Gay Community

People who have been oppressed can sometimes be prone to assume more oppression. It’ just the way things are. Some people cry “Get over it!”, but it’s just not that easy.  Many times fear and pain as a reality is learned and reinforced by environment and community.  Most people agree that no one should be targeted and murdered due to sexual preference, yet it continues to happen.

CHICAGO (CBS) Activists fear gay African-Americans are being targeted for murder. Two openly gay men were killed recently on the South Side, as CBS 2′s Mike Parker reports. African-American gay and lesbian groups are talking about the murders of two openly gay Black men in the past month.

On November 17, 24-year-old Larry Bland was shot to death in his Englewood home. Bland, a security guard at Northwestern Hospital was shot more than once after struggling with a man who had entered the house through an unlocked basement door. Then on December 23, 47-year-old Donald Young, the choir director at Trinity United Church of Christ, was shot multiple times in his South Side apartment. His roommate found his body.
“We’re calling on the police department to let the community know what’s going on,” said Marc Loveless of the Coalition for Justice and Respect. “Are we under attack? Is this a serial killer?” Chicago Police Department Acting Sept. Dana Starks said, “I understand the concerns of any group, any community when it comes to homicide. As of right now, I cannot say whether there is a connection.”

The media services director of the church where Donald Young taught and led the choir, said, “Young did live an openly gay lifestyle; that was his choice.” But she went on to call the Loveless statement, “self-serving.” She also said the police are doing everything they can.

The brother of victim Larry Bland says if the murder was a hate crime, he would not be surprised. “Englewood? Come on. That’s why a lot of gay guys won’t come out, because they fear for something like this to happen,” said Bland’s brother, Lynn.

Starks says that “at this time” there is no evidence the murders were hate crimes. But he told CBS 2, the investigations are still underway.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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Over 1,400 African-American babies are aborted each day

“Abortion is so critical to us, because this is essentially a genocide. According to the census of 2006, African Americans are reproducing below replacement level, which is 2.1 children per household, and we are now at 1.9. We need to turn this around quickly, because over 1,400 African-American babies are aborted every day. That’s going in the wrong direction.” – Walter B. Hoye II, executive elder of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church of Berkeley

I’ve posted about African-Americans and abortion before and it’s a very very touchy subject.  In the black community, I find that most people have a don’t ask don’t tell policy.  Whether someone has had one…you don’t ask.  That’s med’ling in grown business, if you will.  If you had one, you only tell the people you trust or you keep it to yourself.  But of course, the topic is not one that anyone would consider cause for casual conversation.  Why?  I think the major factors are the huge black christian community that considers it and premarital sex sinful and community stigma around abortion.  The stigma part of the equation created in me an internal struggle.  I really couldn’t say that I was pro-abortion, because I don’t believe a life should die because you and your partner don’t want it or made a mistake and didn’t use a condom…etc.  However, I don’t think that children should be born into families where they are not wanted, will not have proper parenting, or will suffer as a result.  I also don’t think that it’s my job to decide whether other women should have the option (especially in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother or child is endangered by the pregnancy).  It’s a very very touchy issue.   In the end, when it comes to questions of life and death, I believe that there is a place for government, church, and personal choice.  Ultimately I think that each individual, male and female should have the choice of many informed choices when it comes to pregnancy.  Abortion, adoption, parenthood, It’s not my choice to make.

But enough of what I think…I want to know what you readers think about African-Americans and abortion. 

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White Racist Co-Worker’s Christmas Wish Granted

In the liberal multi-cultural City of Berkeley, California and home of the internationally renowned and respected University of California where diversity is as common as apple pie. On the eve of the New Year, the sole African American employee at Utrecht Art Supply in Berkeley at the foot of U.C. Berkeley on University Avenue didn’t get an annual Christmas or New Year’s bonus, gift, party or a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year from his employer. But, the company granted his white co-worker’s New Year’s racist wish. On December 18, 2007, the store’s only African-American employee received a formal Separation and Release Agreement from his employer, because his white co-worker, John Paulson, the store manager didn’t feel “comfortable” working around African Americans. It certainty comes at an uncomfortable time for the young African American worker. It happened just before Christmas, and he is a dedicated hard working single parent raising two minor children. Jeff Olson, Utrecht Art Supply District Regional Manager flew in from Chicago and delivered Paulson’s wish that Jeff said had been gift wrapped and endorsed by Utrecht’s CEO, George Meunch, in Cranbury, New Jersey. Utrecht is a national chain of art supply stores founded in 1946 in New York by artist Norman Gulamerian and his brother Harold.  The company is named after the street New Utrecht Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. Certainty, this is a new low in racial tolerance and relations in this country.

Racial uncomfortability instead of business necessity, ability, job performance, personal conduct, character and criminal convictions, as a justified ground to release employees from their jobs will certainty negatively impact the country’s economy and set race relations back to the stone age. Continue reading

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RIP Benazir Bhutto, Assassinated

Such a tragedy…my heart goes out.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AFP) — Pakistani opposition leader and former premier Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a party rally late Thursday, plunging the nation deeper into crisis less than two weeks before elections.

She was shot in the neck before a suicide bomber blew himself up at a park in the northern city of Rawalpindi, killing around 20 people, after Bhutto had just addressed supporters.

The slaying stunned leaders around the world who urged calm and warned that extremists must not be allowed to destabilize the nuclear-armed nation before the January 8 parliamentary vote.

US President George W. Bush, for whom Pakistan is a vital ally in the “war on terror,” called it a “cowardly act” and appealed to its government to stay on the path back toward democracy after eight years of military rule.

Several witnesses said they heard at least one shot before the blast, which tore off limbs. People ran in panic, screaming as they trampled over pieces of human flesh. Puddles of blood dotted the road. Continue reading

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