Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Friday, February 01, 2008

Okay, I'm Up...

I really don't have much to say.

There are a lot of things going on right up under your nose. No need to travel or go abroad to find problems, they're right here. I'm sure you either commute or drive right by something that irks the shit outta you. Try to fix that, I'll come back and complain when my utopia bubble bursts soon.

Probably wont. Why?

Things are comfortable and easy for me right now. I am happy right at this moment. I haven't been this content in more than a year and a half and I'm enjoying how things are going down. That takes away from my desire to blog. In my mind, ain't nothing much to say, with all of the shucking and jiving going on from Detroit to California I'm sure you have enough entertainment.

Don't worry bout' me.

Find something to get into this Black History Month, I'll be around, doing stuff.

Oh hell naw... Wait.

In the words of Joe Madison: Never let anyone undervalue, underestimate or marginalize you.

If this is the first day of Black History Month, then it is my duty to give you your nigger wake up call.

Now I don't know exactly what is going on in your hood, but as much as I travel and keep up on things I'm seeing a pattern:

you are comfortable, and you think they don't give a damn, but they do

They're going to let you sit and gain nothing while you become a third class citizen. Since the beginning of the slave trade, this nation was set up for folks that do not look like you to prosper off of your back and for the most part, it has worked. Wealth from the sweat of slaves to the ignorant that consume very unnecessary items in the spirit of keeping it real has us for the most part struggling just to get by in America today.

From the damn near 800 billion dollars we spend all the way down to how you are perceived in this current political climate, no one takes you seriously, and why should they? Just because things seem easier as you sit in your cubicle with all of this wonderful technology think about this: Black folk in America would be the 9th largest nation based on their populous, education and money spent if they were actually a community.

That's right I said it, we are not a community.

The reason our unemployment is high, income is lower and crime is rampant is because we have never banned together as a community. Don't blame illegal immigrants from south of the border for taking our jobs... Corporate America would have never lowered the wage standard and gave folks cheap labor positions if there were precedent set. And most of that work is unskilled labor that black folk didn't want in the first place because most folks thought that working with one's hands were beneath them.

How if our unemployment rate has been the same for damn near 20 years have immigrants came to compete with and now have surpassed us as second class citizens in the eyes of those with the big money?

We have been conditioned to fail and most of us get comfortable in that failure.

A portion of that whole Willie Lynch Syndrome was for black folk to be conditioned to protect the interest of the powers that be, rat out those that threaten said powers and be willing to adapt to the power's standards, which was foreign to their own. From speaking the language to worship to relaxing one's hair, we seem to aspire to be like them in so many ways that we have forgotten how to be ourselves. That's why it's so easy for a lot of us to Tom out on other black folks like what you see on cable news these days. I don' t have to agree with you and I can support someone else, that doesn't give you the right to clown me in front of the others.

See, we have no community.

Think about the Mexican immigrant that the damn near guaranteed work promised when he or she crosses the border. Think about the network that gets them here and houses them. Think about the individuals planted and blatantly hired by the big companies that get them to the factories and farms and such. Think about the banks and financial institutions that hold this money for future use. Think about the neighborhoods, the shops, stores boutiques and bodegas where that money is spent and how it circulates just within that community. Think about how an American bank only sees that money when real property or business finance is sought.

Now think about your hood.

If you are black and have a little cheddar, think about the integrated villages in which you live. If you are still struggling, think about the hood. Now look at all of the Chinese and Mexican restaurants, the Greek gyros spots, the Sikh and Middle Eastern owned spots and then ask yourself where they go home to when they close up.

Greek Town
Little Italy
Little Mexico

You get the point. Viable, thriving communities where their dollar circulates, folks have each other's backs and all consumerism for the most part begins and ends there. There are doctors, lawyers and insurance agents that hook them up. Everything they need from schools to daycare is all in that community. And the kicker... They keep the secrets locked up by using their native language and there is pride and inclusiveness in being who they are.

They come tired and poor, ban together, feed each other and fix them up, house one another and keep the money right there with all of the rest speaking their secret code language that we cannot decipher. They are not competing with us, they have moved right past us and you just lay there, watching and wondering.

Now ask yourself where the soul food joint is in their neighborhood? Why isn't there a black nail or barber shop over there but there is one of theirs all up and through yours.

Because black folk either leave for a mixed income spot to get away from the noise and crime of the neighborhood or stay 'trapped' in the hood .

Us = neighborhood
Them = community

And now more than ever we are more separate. From each other.

You as a so-called African American have been underestimated, undervalued and marginalized by everyone else and you are comfortable in selling out your culture. By not bringing the dollar home and partaking in starting and/or supporting our own business, by not owning real estate, by perpetrating violence and hatred against one another through hip hop and not embracing the tools industrial, agricultural, financial or educational we embrace racism inadvertently and institutionalized.

By not establishing an identity, embracing communal living and industry and not recycling our dollars with our own we well never have a community. By not embracing our cousins in Africa and adapting a sense of ethnic pride and continuing to buffoon for the benefit of others, even if one is clocking mad, doo doo dollars not bring that money home sells them to the highest bidder.

We'll never learn from Black History Month. We haven't. I heard a kid on a radio call in show last week telling the listeners that all he ever knew of Martin King was what he read in a book and it was about two paragraphs long. He had his masters. He wanted to state that him along with others are tired of hearing about this 'King guy' and really didn't know why he was held on a pedestal. He cited Barack Obama as a 'real hero' and mentioned that we need to see the world for what it is today instead of living in this vacuum from 40 years ago. In a sense he is right, but he is oh so wrong. We need to get with the program in the present and make change based on today. I was glad his bubble got burst when the talk show host informed him that his hero in Senator Obama presidential candidate, brown skinned, educated and born to lead is a manifestation of Dr. King's dream and wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for work put in back in the day.

We got barely a month to learn about the accomplishments and achievements of those that did what they could to make change and help us advance. What will you take from these next 4 and a half weeks to help play our part?

Or will you continue to be comfortable being undervalued, underestimated and marginalized?


aquababie said...

damn... that's about all i can say.

this post is so on point. i meet with a study group on sundays and this is one of the things we talk about. you never see black businesses in their communities. their business run rampant through ours. and we don't but a stop to it. basically we have given our power and money away to folk who don't give a damn about us...except for our money.

Bananas said...

Now I'm gonna say this and it won't be popular. But I figure Brother Hassan's blog is as good of a place as any to say it.

It bugs the wholly shit outta me that I, a fat white guy from Southern California,knows more about African-American history and the plight of the ghetto better than a truck load of Afrcan-Americans.

Hassan is right, it's time for folks to know what time it is.

If this stuff bothers me, it should infuriate you.

chele said...

All from a guy who didn't have much to say ... thanks Hassan.

LadyLee said...

When that Oldboy comes back, he comes back busting up heads.

"...We have been conditioned to fail and most of us get comfortable in that failure."

Yes we have. I think about this all the time.

I remember when I was in grad school, when I was 20 years old, an old Indian guy who worked in the labs hipped me to the fact that I should study my history because "Black people are an important and highly accomplished people, and are severely ignorant of that very fact". He had a love for African-American and African history, was an AVID fan and collector of black history books and art. He was a walking black history book! I remember being ashamed that someone from another country loved MY people more than I did...

As a result of him getting in my face about it, I take time to read about my history.

Sigh. We need community. No telling where we would be if we had that. We are more "crabs in a barrel" than anything. And we have been trained to have that mentality.

Thanks for the n**** wake up call, Oldboy. You know how to give us what we need. Really.

deepnthought said...

well dang.

Rose said...

Wow! Everything I have read is true. Would you believe a kid said to me that Martin Luther King was old stuff that had no impact on him? I couldn't believe it. So I undestand. As a group we are the least community driven. I don't know why or how we can help that. Many of us have tried, lectured and to no avail, our people will not support each other.

Darius T. Williams said...

Hmph - well I must say - you do have a valid point. I think sometimes we get such to the point where we are concerned about ourselves...and that's it. I think community is a wonderful thing - but think about it...we don't have one because we never learned what it means to be involved in one.

The Second Sixty-Eight said...

"If this is the first day of Black History Month, then it is my duty to give you your nigger wake up call."

I knew when I read that it sounded like the ominous cocking of a machine gun bolt. And fire you did. Bravo.

We did get lost since King. I daresay he may have been TOO successful in his dreaming. Folk done got so complacent with a little progress that he is no longer relevant to the younger generation? That truly is a shame.

Where is the soul food restaurant in their neighborhoods you ask? Hell where is the one in MY neighborhood? (And NO Steve's don't count!) I may have to post about that very thing...

Aly Cat 121 said...

aaahhh the "myth of the model minority" which is just that, a myth. Look, as long as Negro's running sh*t, then it's always going to be that way. Now when African's are up front, well then folks will be able to see more clear.

Anonymous said...

So much for not having that much to say.