Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What if they don't want to be saved? (Cypher Syndrome)

    The Cypher Syndrome Conundrum: Can you save those who refuse do be saved? 

     This is not an easy blog to write, mostly because I am still dealing with my positions on this matter. That is to say, I have not yet figured out, where I stand, so I am still feeling my way through these arguments and attempting to find a platform on which to stand. The basic idea is....You can't save them all. There are times in an emergency when you have to decide: who is worth saving, who wants to be saved, and who can be saved. When there are limited resources you have to decide what is the best way to utilize those resources to get the results you want to achieve. 
     Will there ever come a point where we say that we've attempted to get all our brothers and sisters on board, but we've gotten all we can get, and it's time to move out of the station, to the next destination. I'm talking about people, right now in 2010. I'm torn, there is a part of me that says someone reached out to a two-bit hood and brought us Malcolm X, , someone reached out to an unwed welfare mother, and brought us Oprah. Our history is full of examples where we pulled each other up, helping each other survive towards a common goal, creating leaders, and powerful organizations that helped to reshape this country. And I wonder, while we still have a ways to go, at what point do we start to think about the fact that even 747's have weight limits. Carring dead weight will not only slow you down, but it can keep you from your destination all together. 
      So here I am torn between two truths as I see them. Truth number one...none of us would be where we are were it not for the struggles, and sacrifices made by those of us who were able to pave the way. Truth Number Two...If you weigh down the boat with enough baggage it will sink. At what point do we stop trying to focus our energies on the: Stepin Fetchits, those involved in blatant Coonery, the super uber thugs. We've already pretty much given up on Micheal Steele and Clarence Thomas, who else gets added to the list?
      Or do we continue to fight and claw for every lost soul. I guess this is a question to the activists, the nationalists, the culturalists, the talented tenth, and those on the front, middle and back lines of "the struggle". Do we focus limited resources on everyone, trying to cast the net far and wide trying to catch every soul we can, or do we narrow our focus. Helping to reach out to those who want more for themselves, at the expense of the whole. 
     And there also lies the question, what if they are happy with their lot in life. It's hard to save the complacent, it's hard to move the anchored. It's like the guy in the Matrix Movie (the first one) Cypher, who wanted back in the Matrix, who was happy being a part of the system even if it was literally sucking the life out of him. Who sold out his friends and beliefs to get back to the system. How do you reach those people? Do you reach those people? Can we afford to try to reach those people.... Can we afford not to? I don't have the answers right now, but I hope to have them soon, I think one day we will have to decide...whether or not we need to keep trying to save Cypher. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The New Niggers.

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

     Well, I'm going to speak up. Muslims are the new niggers. They have become the "feared" the "scary", the "other". You know you have made it into the ranks of the oppressed when they start burning religious items and placing them on your doorstep as happened in East Lansing, Michigan. In a despicable case of the cowardly imitating the idiotic. Someone decided to commit a copycat hate crime. They burned a Quran, and laid pieces of the desecrated holy book at the doors of a local Islamic Center. 
     The perpetrator turned himself in, after a $10,000 reward was offered for information regardign the hate crime.  Today Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III announced that he will not issue charges in connection with the burning of a Quran outside the Islamic Center, and I quote the good prosecutor. 

"After reviewing the police report, I have decided there is no criminal offense that I can charge under Michigan law," Dunnings said in the statement.
     I disagree; it is clear to me that Michigan's hate laws are meant to prosecute intimidation, and harassment, while leaving for the 1st amendment to operate. This was not a 1st amendment issue, the perpetrator left the burnt Quran on the property of the Islamic center, this is a clear message of intimidation. It should be vigorously prosecuted. Dunning told the Detroit Free Press
"We don't have a hate crime. There was no threat of physical intimidation because he (the perpetrator)was the only one there (at the mosque) at the time,"
     So, if a group Klansman burn a cross on my front yard, and I'm not home, according to Stuart Dunning there was no intimidation going on. If a group of neo-Nazis burn a swastika and put it in front of a Jewish temple, no problem? Not prosecuting these hate crimes is going to have two effects. Number one, it will encourage copycats, because it says: we won’t prosecute you; we won’t even slap you on the wrist.  Number two, it tells the Muslim community “protect yourselves”, because we won’t do it for you. Is that the type of America we live in now?
     Now for the million dollar question. Where is the show of solidarity from the black community? If anyone should be attuned to the implications of burning holy objects and placing them on property it should be African-Americans. Where is the outcry from the local NAACP, the Black Student Union, and the black church? Do we not have a stake in this outcome? Do we not see the road ahead, and where this can and will lead? It was not so long ago when our grandparents, aunt and uncles faced this type of discrimination. Have we fallen so far into the American dream, that we no longer remember the nightmares? Or are we so ecstatic, that they have found new niggers, that we have become afraid to speak up, happy that the spotlight no longer shines exclusively on us. Well, I stand in solidarity, because it is the right thing to do, this is the right time to do it, and when someone does decide to come for me….I hope someone, anyone has the fortitude to speak up. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shucking and Jiving in 2010

So, my original plan was to write about how twitter was destroying politics. or maybe even discuss the recent "mosque" controversy. But like all great plans, sometimes they get derailed. Four days ago, I saw the above image of the South Caroline Senate president, dressed as a confederate general, and two African-Americans dressed in 1800's Gullah costumes. They were at a party hosted by The National Federation for Republican Women. Now, I immediately wanted to post, write and rage, but I thought, I'll give it a few days, see if anything shakes out, see if there are any facts I'm missing.

So, it's been a few days, and I find that I still want to post, rant and rage, but the object of my scorn may surprise a few. I'm not really upset with S.C. Senate President Glenn McConnell for dressing up as a confederate naval officer, or taking a picture with people in "slave garb". He's a South Carolinian Republican, this is honestly the type of behavior I expect from him. Some good old fashion nostalgia for days of "massa" and "cotton picking" is kind par the course for South Carolinian republicans. And although I was originally enraged at the two black people who dressed up, I have come to find out they are Gullah performers who attempt to educate people about the culture of blacks in antebellum South Carolina through song, and dance. They may not of known what they were getting themselves into (personally once I got there and saw white folks dressed up as confederate officers, I would of went back home for and enjoyed an episode of Law and Order). That being said their cause is noble they want to keep alive some traditions of our past. 

Alot of my angst and anger is directed at black conservatives & black republicans. I was looking at the National Black Republican homepage, and there was no mention of this. I have seen nothing from Lashawn Barber or Armstrong Williams I even looked at Hip-Hop Republicans  (who incidentally have pictures of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln on their page) I waited to see if any of my black conservative friends on Facebook would say anything. Pin Drop. Silence. Nothing. Nil. Many black conservatives proudly display their conservatism as a way to say that there is no one black experience, they shine their GOP badges as they proudly "march to the beat of a different drummer". And they are right there is no one black experience, we are a diverse people, with many different needs, skills and outlooks.That being said,  to my black conservatives, can you still in good conscious call this manifestation of the GOP the "Party of Lincoln?" Can you claim as the National Black Republicans do that Martin Luther King would of voted republican? Where are your outcries at such deplorable imagery, where is you chastening of your republican brethren? I'm all about diversity in political parties, and expanding the big tent of either party. There need to be black conservatives in the GOP because otherwise the republican party will always embrace their radical, racist, extreme right wing constituents. But if all you can do as a black conservative is: apologize for Obama, yell the loudest at Al Sharpton, gleefully declare Jesse Jackson a race baiter, and be the first to tell people to stop using "The Race Card". But remain silent at times when the Racists in your party raise their heads. Your silence is DEAFENING. You are proving to the world that while you may be "marching to the beat of your own drummer", it's just another shuck and jive.  

Free Thinkers Are Dangerous. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How "haters" are helping to destroy black culture

So introductory post aside. Let's get into the main course of this blog-a-palooza. Question of the day is Why I think haters are helping to destroy black culture? One reason, and one reason only, THERE AREN'T ENOUGH OF US OUT THERE!!! 

"You're a hater" is one of the most over used phrases on this planet, second only behind "I love you". There is nothing wrong with critique, there is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, there is nothing wrong with intense ridicule and shame. And for years, ridicule, shame and constructive criticism have been the guards at the gates keeping the wack: boys bands, R&B wanna-bes and sucka MC's at bay. 

But now, due to the extreme overuse and misuse of these terms, even the wackest of  the sucka MC's have the nerve to make youtube videos daring anyone to criticize them. Puffy , P Diddy (or whatever he calls himself this week) made an emotional youtube video about comic Maronzio Vance who dared call puffy poisonous to hip-hop. Now he didn't dispute the guy on the merits of his argument, he just accused him of .... HATING. sigh/facepalm

Now with the critics silenced we have an infusion of Wacka Flocka Flames, Nikki Minajs and Souljah Boys. There would of been a time when the natural order of the world would of been to clown these "artists" and others like them out of existence. But now they stay on for years, infecting music and culture with their ridiculous brand of ....whatever it is they do. 

Now granted, hating does exist. I don't like Kobe Bryant, never have, never will... I tried to justify it, and pretend I have good reasons for it, but truth be told... I don't.. I just have a visceral reaction to whenever I see him. I hopes he trips down the stairs....of the Washington Monument. I hope the Dallas Cowboys get poison ivy of the genitals, I didn't want Karl Malone's phone to ring, I didn't want him to get a earring, I didn't want him to get ring around the collar..let alone a championship ring (now thats some good hate)

But not liking a horrible rapper , for rapping in a horrible fashion. Not liking a R&B "diva" who can't sing live, and  is joined at the hip with autotune. Not liking a group who always lipsynchs because they can't recreate their studio sound in real life...not liking a rapper because his name is ... wocka.....flocka.....flame...Not liking Dr. Suess MC's with thier 3rd grade lyrics is not hating. Its constructive criticism with a dash of ridicule...and it's needed. 

Finally, you know who really should be upset right now??? Vanilla Ice. Vanilla Ice was before his time, if he would of waited it out.. he could of had a great career, won a couple Grammy's, maybe an oscar or two or co-hosted The View. Think about the wonderful career Vanilla Ice would of had, if it hadn't been for.... The Haters. Long Live Hating.

Free Thinkers Are Dangerous. 
The Scholarly Hooligan

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Post.

Okay. welcome to The Scholarly Hooligan. This is for friends, foes, adversaries, enemies and others. This blog will not be for the intellectually weak of heart. It will be for the "hot and bothered", for the "does not play well with others" for the . I may will play devil's advocate. I will challenge, I will spit and claw and fight my way to my position. A wise man once said if you can't defend your belief, it must not be much of a belief. So be the words of Parliament Funkadelic to "En Guard! Defend Yourself....."

Just so you know what you're getting yourself into: MY STATS: I am a 33 year African-American Male, I vote Democratic, but I tend to lean center, and at times even fall to the right on some issues. I am a Christian, but I am navigating what that means ( I believe in God, , and try to go to church from time to time, I Love Jesus but some a lot of his followers get on my nerves). I have a pinch of libertarianism in me, but I believe in a strong central government.... go figure. I don't mind satire, but hate racism disguised as such, I'm a: poet, 1st Year Ph.D student in Education, and I'm engaged. I'm Pro-Labor, Pro-Gun Control & Pro-Life...all life so I'm anti-death penalty & anti-war (except in cases of self defense). I like Keith Olbermann but I catch snippets of Bill O'Reilly. I watch football, eat meat, and read Sci-Fi fantasy books.

So there. That's where I come from. Those are my prejudices, so you can better gauge what I have to say. Expect a new post every Monday or Tuesday. Expect some fights, expect some bad grammar. But enjoy the ride.

Free Thinkers Are Dangerous.