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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


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Old Surly Bastard

Call me Old Man Johnson.

I have to be, even though I don't mean to be. I'm drop kicking 40 in the ass and I am so disappointed in us as a people...

I still go around and read all of y'alls blogs on the regular. So much talent, passion and desire out there and that makes me get all Valentine's Day inside but...

I know waaay of too many of us (and I ain't strictly talking about black folk here) that choose not to speak, don't wanna, haven't been taught by those that barely escaped the 50's and 60's or are put in a position where they are censored. I'm talking about speaking on it. Life. Happiness free of racism, sexism, freedom to choose and practice whatever we like and just freedom of some damn enjoyment.

My great-grandfather was a slave's son. And I knew him.

I spoke to him.

He taught me things.

I was amazed just being in his presence.

He was born right outside slavery after emancipation happened. He worked, learned, got married, headed up a household and made the babies that made me thru Jim Crow, segregation, the Klan era, the Civil Rights Movement, the New Deal, the free living 60's, J.J, Themla and em' on 'Good Times' in the 70's and even the beginning of the Hip Hop era with Big Bad Hank, Master Gee and SugarHill into the end of the 80's. He was 100 and some change (records were altered and destroyed) when he passed and I was pissed because although I was a teenager in high school, Alzheimer's took his last few years and I had just really started to pay attention.

I miss Alfred Harris. He was my mother's mother's father and he was there for most of the struggle. He wasn't afraid to speak on it and demand what he knew was rightfully his.

Most of us these days are.

Afraid, that is.

The constitution of this country gives us all the right to choose and cannot discriminate based on these choices. The reason we still live here is because it's damn sure better than Darfur. There is no back to Africa because we built this and history does not teach it, so millions of kids outside of the black community do know know that everything from the light bulb to outpatient surgery to the traffic lights we run (and even the iPod) would have never made it to existence without the hands, passion and minds of a black person.

So we're treated like three fifths.
Issues are polarizing.
We are prey to the criminal justice system.
I am a common thug and my wife is a whore.
We always complain and only want handouts.

We are better than this but legend, entertainment and cultural conditioning would have us to believe that we are less than even though we collectively are the 9th largest earning nation on the planet.

And to most average Americans Afro-centricity is un-American.

And we call ourselves niggers.
Our women identify themselves as bitches.
We demean ourselves in front of our children.
We go to school and pick up our kids with our titties out.
Tats showing...
Argue with teachers over the care of our child and then neglect them at home.
Your kid's teacher is probably a weed head and drinks a lot because you devote 40+ hours to work and don't even check shortie's homework.
Some sisters will never address their absent fathers and the uncles and cousins that have touched them... and take this out on honest brothers.
Some brothers can't seem to grow the fuck up and chase pussy all day in an attempt to launch conquest over either not being made whole by daddy or being a bitch-assed man because of unresolved issues with mommy.
Most entreprenegroes invest in non-equitable items (rims, cars and jewelry that lose value by the second) and let gentrification gobble up the precious hood they represent.
Most good women fall for good for nothing thug wannabes
Most good gay men fall for flip floppers that can't commit or just wanna play house because they're afraid to take on society as a gay male couple.
Most good gay women fall for and date themselves when they need solid, firm yang to their ying.
Most men want to marry their mothers and fuck over good women to find that lost place of nutriment.
Most children get lost in the Matrix because mom and dad are busy working or clubbing and are afraid to ask for help because then they become failures in the eyes of the family.
Most parents aren't even grown yet and think because Snoop says 'bitch' it's okay and then get the hammer dropped on their ass when their child says it and acts like a little bitch.
Most bitches aren't women.
Nothing is off limits.
No one commits anymore.
Ignorance is the new badge of courage, but one is well versed on gossip, rumor and innuendo.
Most of us don't have the internet or a fast enough speed due to cost and our children, communication, education and being up on current events suffer but can find out what Mariah and Nick Cannon are doing RIGHT NOW...
How many of us own property and pay taxes on it?
How many of us have a real opinion on the political issues based on research and participation?
Where were you in Jena?
Lima, OH?
NYC in protest of the Sean Bell verdict?

History is happening right fucking now and I refuse to be the part my great-grandchildren shake their head about on the re-tell.

My personal opinion is that most of y'all don't even know you're free, but I still love you.

Scared negroes.

Don't ask to borrow anything, you might it bring it back the way I lent it.

4 comments:

The Second Sixty-Eight said...

Yes indeed Old Man Johnson, much has changed since great grandpop's day. Not all is good.

Aly Cat 121 said...

"the greatest tool of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko.

Those who try to "free" others end up disappearing in the night or die of "accidental" deaths.

Terry said...

Strange you should bring this up.

My Son is a product of his environment. The only child of a White Father and African-American Mother. As I have said before, literally the ancestry of the Slave and the Slave Owner.

His world was never clouded. He knew the evil that one half of his family inflicted on the other. He knows that not every man has always been pure at heart.

I was proud this year that he decided to attend Morehouse College. However, he has informed me that during the semester he has not always been happy.

Apparently he has experienced a culture gap. When asked the question, "What's up my nigga?" He replied. "Who the hell you talking to? No one in my family has been a nigga in 30 years."

He told me that although Morehouse was a fine institution and he was "getting along", he felt that many had the "BBB's" (busy being black). He was depressed that so many complained, but did little to change the circumstances of the day. That he had never seen his race be so full of excuses and doubt for who, and what, they are.

"I only see a false sense of pride here Dad", he said. "We are only a short distance from where one of our greatest Alumni is buried and no one understands what REALLY happened during his life. I mean, we call each other nigga's Dad. I might have expected that back I the streets at home, but not here. Never here."

It appears my young Son has learned far more than I paid for.

Perhaps the old men are getting younger. We can always pray such is true.

LadyLee said...

"We are better than this but legend, entertainment and cultural conditioning would have us to believe that we are less..."

You said it ALL when you made that statement right there.

Why are we the way we are? Because we are conditioned to be that way. Plain and simple. We are followers and never leaders. And as you say, we are better than this, but we are products of our environments. Plain and simple.