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


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Don't Ever Give Me Time To Think About A Blogpost...

I'm still around.

I'm taking time to get out of boxes, learning to share this massive space with my other half (you should have a child or a mid-sized pet if you have anything over 2000 square feet like we have), making a transition out of the truck (yeah, that's happening) and learning to ride a motorcycle (somewhat, gas mileage is better) with my time back in Chicago.

My other half works in the burbs so adjustment to the city and learning the commute is her current assignment. I think the shear size of both the city and the new digs (hence named the compound) are a little intimidating. There is also a concern about the neighborhood. I grew up in this area (we relocated to the Bronzeville area on the south side of Chicago... Look that up. History, y'all) and I know it well. I also cut my teeth as a poet and musician gigging in places that are long gone. Some are still here, but exist in a different aspect.

The area has a rich tradition of black history and it's currently being gentrified. There are tons of young, black professionals and upper crust blue-collar folk that have flocked here and the change is very visible for me. My wife can't see that right now because in most gentrified areas there is what I like to call 'the nigger element'. It's sad that some folks aren't able to hold on during a transition such as this. Folk try hard to hold on to the old-school values of the hustle that just doesn't work when higher priced real estate, shops and entertainment venues hit a neighborhood. Some folks don't want to give into growth and economic development and shun the change which means in a few months to years they'll be priced out of the neighborhood.

I hate that, but I welcome it as well in some aspects. I have faith in my people to adapt, adjust and make the necessary changes to prosper.

The grime and crime of the big city exists everywhere, I just get tired of pointing that out to my wife. We need time to adjust, me to her adjusting and her to adjust to big city life. It's not hard but I do realize and recognize that she ain't from these here parts and I have to be an ambassador. I was fine with my commute to the Pacific Northwest, but we made a decision to be closer. To each other, to family and to, well... The city.

So we're here.

And because of that, I have to remove myself from the road, but it's cool. After I hang a couple of TVs on the wall and make sure we're wired for the matrix things should be settled. We have 2 living rooms to decorate (upstairs and down) and between furniture stores big and small and with the help of a few items from Ikea we should be comfy in a few days. Well at least at home we'll be, but it starts from there, right? I just need time to let the city grow on my other half, so for the time being, I will be a guide. I'm good at guiding.

Plus I like concerts, shows, sporting events and dining out and Chicago has plenty of that.

Advantage, Hassan.

Oh, and further more... We're working on adding additional residents to the home. All in due time though. No cryptic message here, so stop that. One thing at a time, okay?


I would like to say for the record that one reason that I haven't blogged is because I am a member of Trinity United Church of Christ. Of course I hear the cries of cultism, racism, hate spewing and other isms. I refuse to address this because (get ready) this is utter bullshit.

After reading literally thousands of comments on blogs, watching Fox, CNN, MSNBC, the Posts (New York, Washington and the like), AJC, and the Chicago papers as well as other countless electronic media thingamajigs I see that folks still believe everything they see and hear and are fed by both the left and the right.

I will not defend Jeremiah Wright because he is a grown man and only speaks for himself and not others. I will not disown, disavow or separate myself from him not because he was my pastor, but because I agree 100 percent with the things he said. I will not urge anyone to either read transcripts or watch entire videos because all we need is a 30 second sound byte in order to get true understanding of what anyone says, right?

Never have I seen anyone get questioned for something someone else said under the guise of free speech and/or freedom of religion. I as a black man am tired as hell of having to explain myself to white folk (I said it) in order to be validated as whole when my ancestors built this country off of free labor and never profited from it. I'm tired of these Uncle Tom house negroes getting on TV polarizing things unnecessarily. Funny how certain folks can question someones minister and not even question theirs. Or others.

From what I read and heard, we have a long way to go in race relations. A lot of non-black folk think that black folk are naturally inferior and that non-black folk have to set programs and regulate black folk's behavior in order for us to prosper. A lot of non-black folk think that ALL of our jobs and positions come via affirmative action and are angry that it gives us an advantage. A lot of non-black folk still think that we are a savage people and that they had to give us their god (Jesus included) in order to save us from our own destruction because we know no better.

A lot of non-black folk feel that we have to give up all that is our lineage and disavow Africa in order to not be threatened as Americans. A lot of non-black folk are afraid of Islam, even though Israel and Ismail makes them cousins, Jesus himself was a Jew and Christianity was established more than 400 years after Christ left Earth, whereas the descendants of the house of Ismail were already here reading the Qur'an. A lot of non-black folk that recently came to America in the last 100 years claim ignorance to slavery and wonder why we get angry over being made whole via transaction for all of that free labor when companies like JP Morgan/Chase only exist because of the bankable gazillions made over the years off of the backs of the slave and the Jim Crow regulated black person and they either blend right in or are accepted and can assume the old formulas of gaining wealth when it is hard to get the same deal for folks that have been here, struggling.

A lot of non-black folk think that we support and fund terrorism and never give thought to black folk being terrorized for 500 years via kidnapping, slavery, the KKK and other supremacist groups, Jim Crow, benign neglect, lack of funding of the school systems, separate but unequal, welfare and welfare reform, human control such as the Tuskegee Experiment, change of diet to European standards that cause Diabetes, cancers and the like, the imbalance of the criminal justice system and racial profiling, the theft of labor, music (such as Jazz and Hip Hop) and literature of folks of African descent, the banning of travel and trade to African nations, the support of Apartheid, giving reparations to folks of Jewish, Japanese and Vietnamese descent, the assassinations of King, El Shabazz, Evers, Newton, Hampton Jr. and so on, and building wealth through slave labor and passing it down to non-black families, fraternal orders and friends via stocks, corporations and trust funds as well as teaching hate, separatism and the general belief that we are an inferior people.

And I don't have a right to be hostile?

Black folk never brought up race... But some folks continue to do so.

How in the hell can someone kidnap us, expect us to grow up as a people in inferior conditions and then get mad at us because we're still here? How can white folks (not all, some) get angry and afraid when we speak of race and the issues we have being who we are? With all that America has done to the world via terrorism wouldn't it be expected that that hate be returned? That's why black folks weren't afraid after September 11th.

We are used to being terrorized!!!

If your family didn't own slaves... Rape and beat them... Give them inferior conditions to live and grow. Sell them off when their families expanded. Take advantage financially of slave labor and cheap labor of free black folk's labor... There is still guilt because those families still prospered in a society where it was law to do so. If our people didn't have a voice due to being chattel and not voting citizens how could we have benefited? The government was allowed to buy, sell and trade our ancestors as well and gained financially off of this. The government regulated the law and after abolishment changed laws only to have us still not be heard and relegated us to the back of the bus and so on. So the homes, cars and trust funds... The college educations, union positions and patronage on the job... The standards and practices that brought affirmative action to the workplace was all the advantage your folks had over us.

We can run in the race now but how can we win when non-black folks had the biggest head start known to man?

Today we no longer ask, we get in where we fit in, but that is still a hard thing to do when non-black folk are still eating off the backs of long dead slaves and we cannot get a crumb. So we make stuff up as we go along (like Jazz, Rock and Roll and Hip Hop) and excel at stuff that wasn't designed for us. We create influence through out style, rhythm and flair and try to hold onto it as long as we can, but things like the court systems and community policing skews our trust in the system. The lack of African-American history in mainstream American schools limits the minds of non-black folk and there is disbelief and mistrust (see: Barack Obama) in our capabilities. Patronage still exists. The non-black mindset is still being taught in rural America which means only one thing...

These things have had an effect and currently affect our people mentally, physically, spiritually, economically and obviously socially which means we need to talk... Post haste. We can help you understand. I am not afraid or guilty to talk about it, and neither should non-black America.

This cannot and will not be swept under the rug.


Lola Gets said...

I was going to say, "damn, 2 living rooms?!" But then I thought about it, and realized that I have 2 living rooms too, lol, so I couldnt talk smack about nobody else.

No, of course the majority of non-white folks arent going to get it, becasue they are zenophobic and ethnocentric - if it aint about them, then it doesnt matter. They have had countless opportunities to remedy this fact through education, the arts, reading, hell even the Internet! But, some folks arent going to learn anything new unless they have to.


Aly Cat 121 said...

CHECK! "get in where ya fit in fool" - Too Short.

Glad you all doing ya thing and working on your trinity. Now it's our turn to head out you alls way. See ya. *chuckle*

Darius T. Williams said...

I actually want to move to Bronzeville

deepnthought said...

good post.

Anonymous said...

I may have to read it multiple times to soak it all in...

This shit has me thinking.

LadyLee said...

You, just said in one post what I will NEVER be able to verbalize. Well said. I see you use your O.O.B. platinum plus card mighty well.

And I am happy you and your girl arrived safe in Chi-town. I'm sure you all will adjust in no time.

princessdominique said...

You said a mouth full. I'm glad for the update and to hear that all is well and you are transitioning. I've got to cut back on my tv, newspaper reading a other things. The media is insane.