Monday, September 26, 2005

Social Commentary II

So I promised I would continue my rant on the social fiber of this country and who’s to blame for the problems of black people. In my first writings, I blamed white folks. "Yeah I said it. Write it down, take a picture, send it to em" (I love Shaq quotes). The system is set up for the dominant culture, white folks, to maintain their dominance. Sure a few sprinkles of pepper and brown sugar gets mixed in with the salt, but not many. It is the dominant culture and its greed that have kept many minority groups in its place. But they’re not the only ones to blame.

I also put the blame squarely on myself and others like me. I place blame on black people as a whole for the problems we’re facing. We are very fragmented as a people. Some living in the ghettos, talking the talk, walking the walk, not necessarily trying to get out. Some in the middle class looking down upon that which we once came from (but that’s a different subject entirely) trying to claw our way upward reaching some pinnacle that we’ve learned from being assimilated by the dominant culture. Some have made it to that pinnacle and are just trying to keep what they have, not looking backward at those trying to climb up. They are fully assimilated and have won their game, although they are still black which for all intents and purposes means they are still a rung lower than the lowest of the high.

Though I think all black folks share a sense of history and pride about being black, we have allowed the dominant culture to separate us as a people. We start noticing the differences between our upper, middle and lower class brethren. We play the class warfare games learned from the dominant culture. We’ve learned new and inventive ways to segregate ourselves from one another (fraternities, sororities, various organizations) when we should all come together on a certain level of the mutual respect for our blackness and become stronger as a people.

Our folks in the ghettos are to blame for not wanting more. Not trying to get more. Not struggling to get out. Depending on the government. If the latest hurricanes have showed people anything it’s having your own means is extremely important. The government will not always help you. “George Bush does not care about black people.” The quote just came out of Kanye’s mouth didn’t it? Very random, but very true. But will that lesson be learned. Doubt it.

Our folks in the suburbs need to get out more and try to pull up our brothers and sisters in the ghetto. We, yes me included, keep trying to look forward, but back there is what needs us. The only way we can ever succeed as a people is to pull those up and become a stronger base. Of course, how do I have time for that when I need to finish my season of Madden?

Our more affluent folks living behind the gates of communities need to use their status to affect change on a national level. Our actors and entertainers need to come out and be politically active. Say what’s on their mind. Stand as a force against the man…even against some of their own.

I know this just sounds like the ramblings of a mad man. That’s actually very true. But I am tired of things being blamed on white folks. Yeah, the “white establishment” plays a major role in what happens in this country; however it is time for minorities to stand up on their own two feet and start moving. Obviously no one is going to give us anything, so we have to take it. Minority groups could have much more power in this country if we could mobilize ourselves into a unified force. Blacks and Hispanics especially have power in numbers. Unfortunately most of our numbers are in jail, living below the poverty line, or just feel they have no way out, keeping the dominant culture, dominant.

Is there an answer? If there is, I don’t have it. But I’m searching for it. Until then, I remain part of the problem. A burden I carry everyday.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My New Pet Peave

Is this really how you spell peave? Is peave a real word?

Ok, have had this pet peave for awhile now, but it has been ecsentuated over the past 3-4 weeks now. You may have seen it on the Daily Show recently. I have a problem with reporters and storms. I can't stand the fact that there are reporters standing out in a storm saying it's windy and wet. "It's so windy out here. Look at me, I can't keep my balance. It's raining hard. Wow, look at the destruction." You're standing in the middle of a hurricane you moron, we know it's wet! We know it's windy! These guys and gals just drive me up a wall. Why do I need to see Anderson Cooper in the middle of the street being blown over to know its a strong storm. It's not like the weatherman hasn't said this about 864 times over the course of the 24 hour 7 day coverage. Like I really want to see you get impailed by a mailbox. Plus, the folks that can see the TV coverage are so far away they are uneffected by the wind and rain of a storm. The people who need to see the coverage are either in the storm or have had their electricity knocked out and can't see this moron wading in knee deep water. And who really needs to see this anyway? Are we fasinated that some idiot reporter stands in the middle of a storm telling us something we already know? If so, we really need to get a life.

Just had to vent.

Friday, September 16, 2005

My City My Home

I got into an interesting discussion with one of my very good friends online last night. She lived in New Orleans until Katrina and now is planning to hundreds of others. I tried to get her to see the positives about staying. She could only see the negatives. I tried to tell her that things would change, she said they'd stay the same. I said businesses would come, she said they would go and stay away. She would abandon the city that I call home. That I myself abandoned 3 years ago for greener pastures thinking one day of returning to my city, my home.

It is calling me, but I'm still not sure when. Some say it's fool-hearty to rebuild. People say it'll happen again. But what about California? Cities are built on fault lines. If the big one comes, would they just move away? What about the Carolinas? Getting hit by a hurricane as we speak. Would they just leave the place never to return if the big one comes? Living in New York or DC is like living in a magnet for terrorism. But they're rebuilding (which I think is a stupid idea only to say "Hey look at us, we're going to build something larger for you to knock down!").

Like much of the country, New Orleans is al resillient as the next city. There's no reason to give up on the place. We all know the NO had its share of problems. Bad economy, high crime, poor public schools. But that's much like many American urban centers in the days of outsourcing and importing. Why should we close our doors when we can fix our problems. We can rebuilt it and build it differently, build it better. I know it's going to take a boat load of money, but we can do it. Sure up the levees. Build homes on stilts. Build buidings with 1st floors used as meeting space as opposed to infrastructure. Lift the city. There are things that can be done.

My good friend told me that you can't control Mother Nature. True, but as the old addage goes, "You can't stop her, you can only try to contain her." This gives us an opportunity to develop new technologies aimed at changing water flow or containing the great force of a hurricane. We have an opportunity to learn how to somehow harness the power (maybe a windmill) of a natural disaster and use it for good. This gives us an opportunity to build structures anew gearing them for new business and industry. But more inportantly this gives us an opportunity to teach people the importance of jobs, hard work and having your own. This shows that the government can't and won't do everything for you. Having your own resources to recover is much more important than the government itself.

Maybe I am a little fool-hearty. Maybe I am being a little bold and brash. Maybe I am saying these things because New Orleans is my home and no one wants to see his home left for dead. But I truly believe in the opportunity this great tragedy has brought us.

New Orleans can be reborn.

New city, my home. N.O. Forever

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Bet you thought I was going to write about the hurricane huh? I'm kinda tired of that and will leave that to a later date.

A friend of mine said he didn't know if he was capable of dating someone for more than two weeks. At least he'll get those two weeks. I'm not sure if I'm capable of dating at all.

As much as a love women, I can't seem to talk to them. I am frozen when I want to ask them out. How hard can it be to say, "Hey, I think you're cool and would love to take you out." Well for me, it's like making the State of the Union address in front of millions. I get stuck, tongue tied, frozen.

Case in point, there was this girl in college I liked, but she had a boyfriend. I've seen her recently and found that I still like her. No boyfriend around this time, but still I'm frozen. Can't force myself to really ask her out. Not that it would matter because I'm leaving anyway, but I would like to try.

Another case, there was a girl in Missouri I liked but she had a long term boyfriend. Too bad because she was cool too.

And it seems like circumstances always conspire against me. It's always the boyfriends, the distance, their age. But mostly it's me being scared to take a chance. Afraid of getting hurt again. I don't want to blame the ex for that (sidenote: the bitch) but that has something to do with it. I seem to find every reason not to talk to girls. Don't want it to be weird if she says no, don't want to lose a friend, don't like hearing NO, afraid to hear YES. Haven't heard that in so long I don't know what I'd do if a girl wanted to go out on a date with me.

I seem to always come back to I don't know. I just don't know what my problem is. Not to toot my own horn, but I feel like I'm a good catch. But I just can't get to the point to show it. For now I ride the road of lonliness. Waiting for God to put someone in my path. Wondering what was wrong with those already in my path. It'll all work itself out.