Saturday Open Thread

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For those of you who have absolutely nothing better to do this evening, tell me what’s on you’re mind.  I got about an hour to kill before I hit the clubs.

50 thoughts on “Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah

    I’ve been making copies of Roots for family members. You know, the parts of this mini-series that were seared into my subconscious 30 years ago, I could recall instantly.

    Went to see The Namesake by Mira Nair. She’s fortunate that she gets to make movies about her folk, and they just seem…HUMAN. Not all good, or all evil..just HUMAN.

    You know the unanswered question that goes along with that.

  2. rikyrah

    I’ve been struggling personally about not feeling 1.1 ounce of sympathy for the Duke Lacrosse players. Even though I felt there was NO case from the moment the DNA came back negative (for me, if DNA is good enough to get you off DEATH ROW, then it was good enough for the case to be dropped against them all those months ago)

    I just don’t feel bad about what they went through…and it bothers me that I’ve lost that part of myself.

  3. rikyrah

    Any thoughts from you about Fred Thompson? Will his cancer announcement knock him, though McCain & Rudy had cancer too.

  4. rikyrah,

    I am here in the thick of it, and it bothers me a great deal that our criminal justice system charges people without evidence. As for these boys, I feel a slight tingly pang of something-belch. Nevermind, it was just gas.

  5. I’ve decided to apologize to Mr. Imus for learning how to read.

    If I didn’t know how to read, I would not have learned how to blog and been able to comment on Imus’ extensive knowledge of nappy heads and hos.

    Also I’m apologizing to the Duke LAX boys. I’m sorry for forcing them to hire a black stripper. I kept the white strippers busy that fateful night reading Howard Zinn.

    Why?

    Because I’m all powerful!

    Bad nappy headed me!

    Also made those White House emails disappear and made Richard Nixon act the fool before he resigned!

    More apologizing to come (Strom Thurmond, BET) because clearly it IS all my fault.

  6. Cliff

    This will be a shock to most. I have decided to cut out all of my personal hypocrisy. I continued to listen to what my wife calls “musical porn” regardless to how conscious I am, claiming that I did it cause the beats are tight and I can dance to it, by getting drunk, claiming I can’t hear the lyrics anyway. I was listening to conscious black radio station and my brother called in who is 5%, and could not believe how strange we are as a people on how we can hear Ministers, Doctors, Lawyers, Professionals telling us the same thing for years, yet when we get beat down by a great-grandson of a “Slave-master”, we think about changing on a whole.

    Well I am strange to I will no longer be hypocritical, never again am I going to allow my enemy to point the finger at my actions, (verbally beat my ass) and say “you do it to yourself everyday”. I don’t why this particular white man has this much power to change my lifestyle, or maybe there is a higher spiritual power behind this whole endeavor.

  7. when bad things happen to women of color, i wish they’d at least pretend al sharpton was a woman. ’cause i guess all the women of color who say important things and have opinions are busy trying to comb their nappy heads or something. can’t they at least put him in a dress so that if i turn my head really fast, i can think, “whoa, what’s this? a woman of color sharing her thoughts on what’s happened to another woman of color?! wow! uncanny! unreal!” before my hopes are dashed to shit?

  8. Couple follow-up observations to the Imus thing,,,

    Women of color commenting: all I saw was Halle Berry mentioning something on The View about how the word nappy by itself wasn’t offensive. This was somewhat ironic given that she was waving her long, silky reddish-brown tresses around as she explained this. Not to mention that the only time Hollywood allowed her to wear her hair even kinda nappy was when she was playing a CRACKHEAD.

    As for C. Delores Tucker, she was ahead of her time. I did not support her at the time because she seemed to be a tool of those who were trying to shut down the the rap industry without regard to how those “offensive words” were being used. That is, she was going after PE and others that had an overall positive message just because she took issue with the use of certain words. This kind of non-discriminating censorship cannot be tolerated. Mind you, this was before downward spiralling artistic decline of the genre, due primarily to market forces. I would say her time has now arrived and quite distressingly so.

  9. Rick

    When I hear of the death threats against the Rutgers ladies basketball team – and now, the death threats against Al Sharpton – I can’t help but remember the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of black men and women who were slain for standing up for their dignity as human beings after Civil War, and throughout the Civil Rights movement. They died so that their descendants can be treated as equal and with dignity, respect. We honor their memory by not forgetting their (ultimate) sacrifices and doing things, even in small ways, to make things a little better for the next generation.

  10. Denise

    You got that right, Rick.

    And everyone who chooses to step into the public eye in the name of moving US forward (whether they say it or not) needs to remember this and act accordingly.

    EACH AND EVERY one of us!

  11. Rick

    “And we are now men [and women], and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark.” – Emerson, Self-Reliance

    Denise, my sista, I co-sign to what you just said.

  12. Cliff

    I think that there is positive aspect to every what seems to be negative aspect.
    In every negative thing we hear the musical artists saying there should be a small percentage of positive energy or thought.

    When Aaliyah said “Rock the boat, rock the boat, change positions, new position, new position”, on one hand, the first mind is thinking about sex, but let’s look at a positive aspect of these words.

    How can you rock the boat to sail a certain direction, if it is filled will passengers heading down the stream of ignorance and stupidity? The passengers are not knowledgeable of their being on a boat nor are they knowledgeable that there is a captain. Passengers who become aware of their pathway, and want to change the direction of the boat, have the ability to rock it in the direction of knowledge and wisdom. Words in which you hear a particular person say, may rock the direction of your thinking. Forget about just rocking the direction of one person, Rock the boat.

    Thanks to my Brothers and Sisters on this site, you have helped rock the direction of my thinking into a new position.

    Here is another one “Rick”, for our Brothers and Sisters to not have any fear of their enemies as they take a stand against Racism and Sexism. I am sorry Angie and Denise, but I have to use this Artist’s lyrics as an example, just to get my point across, but this is particularly for one who is still fearful of their enemy, and who does not have knowledge of self. Blogging is my new sport now.

    Lil Flip said “Whats beef? Beef is when a nigga like you can’t sleep. Wake up in the morning and you can’t eat. Ya better look both ways before you cross the street, cause you don’t wanna bump heads with a nigga like me”.

    I agree. Beef is when you’re stressed; thinking about an attack by someone who is at war with you and it will cause you to lose sleep. When you wake up in the morning you know you can’t eat because you have to pray to the Almighty. After prayer the thought to eat does not come in your mind, because you can’t get your enemies out of your mind. What are they thinking about doing to me? How will they try to attack? Then when the sisters from Rutgers think about an attack by the enemy, then if they realize how powerful God is, they should say their heads, “they don’t wanna bump heads with a goddess like me”.

  13. Well, at least Sharpton’s doing his thang. Where the hell is Jesse Jackson.

    Off shaking down another corporation about hiring black folk. For all his shakedown, all we got is Dick Parsons at TimeWarner and Ken Chenault at American Express.

    Duke LaCrosse players – hopefully they learn what we already know; they know how it feels to be charged with a crime they didn’t commit.

    Don Imus – too little, too late; his employers already knew about his bigoted ass and did nothing about him until Proctor and Gamble, Staples, Glaxco Smith Kline and others started pulling their ads from NBC and CBS.

    Rutgers University Basketball team – keep on showing class, because Imus will never have the class that you young women have. You GO GIRLS!!!

    Halle Berry – she’s been irrelevant since she made Monster’s Ball.

  14. Cliff

    To: The Political Junkie: Is shaking down a corporation for their lack of acknowledgment of the Equal Opportunity of employment for black people exclusevly, forcing them (the corporation) to do what they do not want to do?

  15. Cliff:

    You know exactly what I meant. Those companies know about their responsibilities regarding EEO – many of them do business with the Feds, and it’s required that they have EEO in their employment practices, or the Feds pull their business.

    So Jesse takes advantage of that by threatening to call their practices into scrutiny. Then he gets paid. Then there’s absolute silence coming from Jesse.

    Either you’re being disingenious or trying to be a comedian; you saw what that got Don Imus.

  16. Cliff

    To:The Political Junkie,rickrah

    Okay let’s look at this, EEO issue from a different perspective. I was at a meeting hosted by the “Young Black Contractors Association”, the main argument in the meeting was how corporations are capitalizing on “Equal Employment Opportunity” for so-called minorities, by hiring any other race of people except for black folks. It was the same trick being used on behalf of corporations awarding construction contracts to small minority businesses. This is one of the arguments of a brother by the name of Dr. Claude Anderson, who wrote many books on this subject. By test we would be able to determine if “Jessie Jackson” is a sellout. If it is true that he is fighting for the rights black folks then he would be able to “shake down” corporations who would not just fulfill the EEO requirement, but the number of black employees at the companies (Bypassing the EEO trick). Is Jessie just trying to fulfill this deceptive EEO requirement, or is he trying to see a greater majority of educated black people in prominent positions? My alternative opinion to Jessie’s approach is to go into business for ourselves, which would present another obstacle in the war to feed our families. Then maybe if they saw more black entrepreneurs, they would probably “fly in” business owners from other countries to bid on contracts. Black small business owners also have to go to war with the corporations.

    rickyrah: I disagree with “Michael Fisher”, with regard to his saying “Black America said “Fire the Clown” and “Al and Jessie just complied”; that is contradictory since they were ones who helped grasp the attention of black people to call for the ousting of “Imus”. He should not condemn them as clowns, if they are standing up and fighting for the civil rights of black people. When I see Al Sharpton on Television, I never see him get defeated in any argument. When I see Jessie Jackson in any political debate on behalf on us as people, I never see him get defeated either. I love to hear any black leader fighting for justice for us as whole on any level.

  17. Rick

    re: “What about your friends”

    well. I don’t need “friends” like that – black or white, which leads to my broader feelings on this topic.

    sistas: if your honey uses the b-word as part of his vocabulary, or has sexist attitudes on the low…call him out. let him know how disrespected it makes you feel, and how demeaning it is to women more generally. don’t stand for it!

    sistas: if you see her disrespecting herself, call her out too. we’ve focused on the male rap artists (like Snoop), but someone also needs to have a chat with the sistas who allow themselves to be collared like dogs on TV. This gives the sistas a negative image just the same, in my opinion. i feel the same about some rap videos and some reality shows, which I’ve already mentioned. I think if this aspect of the dialogue is led by the sistas (and supported by the brothers), it would be more effective.

    brothas: if your sista is addicted to shows like “I love New York”, we have to let them know that daily dosages of the black exploitation genre profit white media companies AND do not portray black men (or women) in a favorable light. Stand up for yourself and say, “let’s watch something else.” Take control of the remote (at least in your own house🙂

    Brothas: we should not allow the sistas to be verbally disrespected by other men (black or white) in our presence, even if they are a friend. We should also be conscious of the words and images we allow to proliferate in our presence, like the n-word, or the b-word. If someone’s a “friend” and does these things, call them out on it! Be of good courage…just my 4 cents!

  18. Rick

    and what about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

    wow. I better understand now why the sistas decided to start their own movement in the late 60s – early 70s (black feminist movement). While the civil rights movement (and it’s leaders) focused on racial discrimination, did they really speak with the same force and moral clarity on sexism and gender equality?

    It is not time for “new” leadership. We ALREADY have black female leaders in out midst. The question is, how do we get Jesse and Al to share the microphone and media spotlight with the sistas when issues that touch on sexism (and racism) erupt. Did he even consult with the sistas??

  19. Cliff

    Rick, that is going to be the hardest thing for me to call somebody out on their actions when I see it. I am more of type of person to see the negative actions, then throw stones from afar. I think over time I will develop the backbone to call people out on their actions once confronted with their negative behavior. By the way the Northeast is getting hit hard with flooding, especially in the home state of Rutgers University, New Jersey declared a state of emergency. The New Jersey State Governor was on the way to the meeting with Imus and the players, and got into a nearly fatal car accident. Is God trying to tell us something? Rick, how is it in the NY, (as Brother Al Roker would say) “in your neck of woods”?

  20. Cliff

    Rick, I also agree with the idea of new leadership. Brother Al and Jessie need to share the microphone with the strong young leadership. What Sista’s do you have in mind to take leadership roles for black women?

  21. Rick

    O course use your judgement and always let your conscious be your guide.

    “call people out” was a sloppy term on my part. I should have said “raise awareness”…”teach” (not preach)…”relate” what you are saying into that person’s daily life… i didn’t say it would be easy Brother Cliff. (remember the story I told about Moses). But if we are serious about uplifting the race, we know that we can be examples for others. Sometimes that means doing things that are not easy…”EACH AND EVERY one of us!” just like sista Denise said.

    (NY is getting drenched…)

  22. Happy-To-Be Nappy Rick

    post: #29
    not my place to make those appointments, Brother Cliff🙂 I’ll let the sistas, if they would like, speak more to that question.

    re: Imus
    The feeling behind what I said is that it would have been nice for Rev Al to have invited a sista like bell hooks, author of Happy to Be Nappy, to add a sista’s perspective on the Imus situation.
    http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Be-Nappy-Bell-Hooks/dp/0786807563

    Or how about the leadership of Alpha Kappa Alpha who called for its 200,000 members to divest of all stock in NBC, CBS and their parent companies; and to urge their families to do the same. Why didn’t Al invite them on his show (or other black sorority organizations that spoke up like Delta Sigma Theta) to publicize their responses?

    These are just examples…As a brotha I would have love to hear more directly from these Sistas With (their own) Voices on this topic on the national stage.

  23. Cliff

    Rick: When you referenced Numbers 12:3 “Now Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth”. You said this stands for “US” when we don’t take a stand for our women when someone disrespects them, are you referring to this biblical verse because God is giving a description of Moses’ character, by using the word “Meek”? I looked up “Meek” in the dictionary and one of the definitions is “enduring injury with patience and without resentment.”

  24. Rick

    “Blessed are the Meek for they shall inherent the Earth” – Jesus Christ

    “But only if they are strong” – Henry Kissinger

    The sista I roll with doesn’t want a “meek” brotha, Cliff. I got me a spartan sista who wants a “soldier” — one who will stand up for her. I know 4 sure my honey ain’t the only one like that…I know you get what I am saying.

  25. Rick

    my thoughts and prayers are with the students of VaTech and their families in this senseless tragedy…

  26. Denise

    This is unbelievable! 32 innocent victims?? My condolences to the victims’ families and the entire VT community.

  27. NMP

    One more thing on my mind…How can rappers who’ve been in the game for almost two decades, like Snoop Dogg, argue that they are rapping about what [the ghetto] they know. That argument may have had a tiny tiny bit of credibility when he first entered the game, just out of the projects, but Snoop and most of these cats haven’t been broke for a long long time. In fact, Snoop has been rich longer than he was poor. He’s more likely to be hanging out in a multi-million dollar beach front estate in Malibu than Long Beach. Irrespective of his socio-economic level, it’s pathetic for a grown man near 40, with a wife and kids, still rapping about the same smack, “bitches and ho’s” and gang life, that he was rapping about 20 years ago. They all need to grow up!

  28. “Irrespective of his socio-economic level, it’s pathetic for a grown man near 40, with a wife and kids, still rapping about the same smack, “bitches and ho’s” and gang life, that he was rapping about 20 years ago. They all need to grow up!” NMP

    And let the church say, Amen!

  29. I’m outraged by what has happened at Virginia Tech. My prayers go out to the students, families, and faculty. I pray that God’s peace be with them in this very tragic time.

    I hope that the school ends the semester as of today. Finishing the semester would be a grave mistake. The students are in no condition to finish the semester in May.

    PTSD is sure to come in the next few days and will remain with these kids for weeks, maybe months. Some of these kids will be emotionally scarred for life. Counseling and medication will probably be a life long prescription for many of these kids.

    The semester will likely end anyway in a few weeks. They should average up the grades now, and let the kids go home to their families. It’s the right thing to do.

    Who cares that there is more to learn. With a tragedy like this happening, the profs are not going to be teaching and the students certainly are not going to be learning. So why waste time, money, and mental power dealing with school. That mental power can be used on finding a way to move on after a major crisis like this.

  30. Rick

    since we are going to be up in here in SB’s spot for a while — at least until the democratic nominations and maybe longer– maybe we can stop calling each other bad names and respect the fact that we are brothers and sistas who happen to have different political opinions? and that it’s ok for us to discuss those differences respectfully?

    (there has been enough violence and hatred manifest in recent weeks)

  31. Rick

    this came into my inbox yesterday…felt like sharing
    —————————————————————————
    April 16 – Meditation for the Day

    I must try to love all humanity. Love comes from thinking of every man or woman as your brother or sister, because they are children of God. This way of thinking makes me care enough about them to really want to help them. I must put this kind of love into action by serving others. Love means no severe judging, no resentments, no malicious gossip, and no destructive criticism. It means patience, under standing, compassion, and helpfulness.

    Prayer for the Day

    I pray that I may realize that God loves me, since He is the Father of us all. I pray that I in turn may have love for all of His children.

  32. rikyrah

    Darryl,

    Why the negativity? I told you that people on here weren’t ‘ haters’. They are ‘skeptics’. Show some civility and respect.

  33. rikyrah

    PTSD is sure to come in the next few days and will remain with these kids for weeks, maybe months. Some of these kids will be emotionally scarred for life. Counseling and medication will probably be a life long prescription for many of these kids.

    Angie,

    Reading these comments, I was thinking about some of the students that they interviewed, two people in particular. She was one of only FOUR people left alive in her class, and survived because she played dead. Yet, she looked so calm on tv.

    Then there was another guy Brian Williams interviewed. He was part of the group that had to decide as to whether they would jump out of windows or not. He did..others did not. Like with the woman, he was too calm telling the story.

  34. Rick

    post #8
    “Mind you, this was before downward spiralling artistic decline of the genre, due primarily to market forces.”

    market forces. gotcha. so we have on the supply-side, folks like Snoop who at 40 – as NMP mentions – are “still rapping about the same smack, ‘bitches and ho’s’ and gang life, that he was rapping about 20 years ago.”

    But what about on the DEMAND-side? why is there such demand for ganga-culture, particularly in the “middle-class” market? why are teenagers who come from middle-income homes (irrespective of race) who have parent(s) that provide for them…whis does this group glorify violence?

    Like a failed drug-war, we can go only after the suppliers, but don’t we also need to better understand if our young people are also feeling a growing sense of rage/alienation — even in situations where their economic needs are being met? are adults LISTENING to what young people are trying to tell us? if not, are they “acting out” for attention?

  35. Rick, do you remember being an angry teenager coming home from school, throwing your records on the turntable then pumping the volume up to “10”? Somebody would be pounding on the wall to turn it down but you wouldn’t hear ’em? It’s the same youthful angst mixed with rebellion that makes these white kids go and upset their parents by blaring gangsta rap. I’m actually surprised that it took several years before the “Golden Era of Rap” (mid 80s to early 90s) would degenerate into the mess we have today. I only wish the greater majority of consumers would be more discerning in their choice of lyrics. I, for one, cannot listen to music that doesn’t have a positive message to go along with the funky beats. So I’m stuck to listening to old, old school hip hop and reggae for the past 10 years…

  36. rikyrah:

    I have also noticed how these kids are strangely calm. I watched a young lady give an interview this morning. She was so together. I watched in amazement.

    I know that we are dealing with educated people. So, I expect them to give good, detailed interviews. But I don’t expect them to be so calm. It deeply concerns me.

    I first wondered if our culture is so riddled with horror, terror, and destruction that our kids are numb to it. These kids have grown up in this culture of violence. Looking at the age of these kids, many of them were in pre-K when the OK bombing happend. They were in middle school and high school when the 911 tragedy struck. We have been in a very bloody war in the last 5 years. I wondered if something like this is even a massive tragedy to them.

    But the more I thought about it, the more I’m convinced that these kids are masking their hurt, confusion, horror, and pain with strong, adjusted exteriors. It’s sad that they feel like they have to be a brick in such a terrible time. It’s now clear to me that these kids are in utter shock, but still trying to be cool as a cucumber.

    I experienced a very tragic event that involved me and my mother. Although I made it out alive and well, I was still a bag of nerves. The memory of the incident visited me and had my nerves shok for a few weeks. And I’m a pretty tough gal.

    I pray that the parents of these kids watch them closely, and offer the kind of support that these kids need, even if the kid appear to be alright. And if they are so fine with something like this happening around them, the parent really needs to be concerned.

  37. Rick

    well said, Ernesto, and agreed too.

    (be blessed everyone. taking a lil break from the computer for a lil bit)

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