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, October 10, 2008


I know what it is about me.

I know what I want.

As you've noticed, I've taken the Obama banner off of my blog. I thought it to be counterproductive to where I am right now. I guess it's obvious that I no longer support Barack Obama and my friends, I plan to vote according to my best interests this November and that vote might not be for whom you think.

I am beyond angry or livid. Don't ask why.

For the past couple of months, no... Couple of weeks, nah... All of my life, I've lived with some sort of anger and possible hatred embedded in my heart and I never knew why it was there. I've had the privilege to have lived down from where Muhammad Ali stayed when he stayed in Chicago. My mother knows him and I can recall 2 times when I stood in his presence.

Nowadays I currently live literally down the street and around the corner from the Obama family. That's cool and I feel like that it's sort of a privilege seeing as my wife I and can afford to live in this area. It is the neighborhood I grew up in and gentrification has changed a lot. I never knew someone like Barack would ever choose to come to these neck of the woods, but Minister Farrakhan as well as a few CEOs and the University of Chicago is here, so... Change and progression in the real estate market is good.

I've learned a lot from these two men. One as a young man, the other as an adult.

This area was once the hotbed of Black Nationalism with the Panthers, the Nation and Rainbow/Push all being right within arms reach when I was a kid. When we drive through, I point out and recollect to my wife about the places where street corner soapbox preachers, buildings with loudspeakers outside of them blasted speeches and sound bytes of Cleaver and Newton or the new weekly addresses from Jesse or Elijah. I remember journalists like Lu Palmer and radio rebels on WVON with promos reminding us that VON stood for 'Voice Of the Negro' and to support the Chicago Defender (the oldest black owned newspaper in the US). I miss the young brothers dressed in military garb calling me 'Brother Comrade', the double feature black film palaces and the health food stores that stayed packed because longevity was essential for our children who needed caring elders to run the village.

All of my uncles on both sides, my grandfather and my dad all held real street cred. From helping the church mothers with groceries to doo wopping on the corner to attending revolutionary meetings in the back of the candy store and hustling beef tamales and kosher hot dogs in the park on the north side to make money to fund the revolution... Damn, folk in the hood were close, shared a lot, minded other family's elders and the only enemy at that time was some sell-out on TV or a politician pandering outside of churches on Sunday afternoons.

Oh yeah, the system. Big enemy of the people back then.

Now a lot of folks old enough to know has either put the system out of their minds and the ones that have no clue that there even was one won't even believe that there ever was one. I lived in a system of the system when I was a kid. COINTELPRO planted folk to spy on folk and I witnessed a cat get beat within an inch of his life until a preacher saved him because the lookouts on the corner saw dude on the west side of the city talking to a white man wearing a long coat. We spoke in code because some of the black cops reported certain activity to the department. All of my aunts and uncles, my mother and my sibs all went to Catholic school. We got a volume discount because most of my aunts and uncles aren't that much older than my older brother and myself so we all went together. Seeing as the public school system didn't have updated textbooks and didn't pay teachers well, my grandmother made sure we all learned something, and the Franciscan Order made sure the school staff was on point. My entire family with the exception of my older brother (who has a industrial/union certification) all have at least a bachelor's degree with the rest of us having advanced degrees.

Grandma wanted us to get out. She even taught at the elementary school just to keep an eye on us.

When it was time to move, we didn't move far from the neighborhood, in reality there are still only a few places black people can go in Chicago to live well. The red line map still exists. I never gave thought to moving back to these parts until gentrification picked up all the vacant lots and abandoned buildings. Today, the projects are gone, the old apartment buildings have been rehabbed to beautiful condos and multi unit buildings are popping up all over what used to be a bad stretch of land red lined by the racist system a long ago. In fact, today white families are drawn to this area like flies to shit because of the low prices (if $300 to $700k is low to you) and proximity to downtown Chicago. Similar units in other parts of the city go for literally millions, well until this recent financial crisis.

One thing that never changed around here is the mentality of niggerdom. Our neighborhoods are collages of mixed income families and niggerdom is sprinkled throughout the three communities that make up the near south side that lays on Lake Michigan. There are plenty of young and older black men that seem to have absolutely nothing to do, displaced by the removal of low income housing, haunted by either drug sales or drug use or overwhelmed by alcohol consumption. There is no place for these once useful men to go. You would think with all of the single mothers walking their kids to school that some of the brothers would or could be fathers, right?

There are responsible brothers over here, in fact they're everywhere, but because of the close locale of the University of Chicago, the white kids that attend and hang off campus, the well to do families that moved over here to take advantage of lower real estate prices and working families that like to have nice shit, a police state looms. I'm in my late thirties and sometimes I have to think about wearing my baseball cap...

And just when you get used to outdoor cafes, progressive minded folk riding the bus and train to work, white folks jogging through the hood at 5am and multiracial happenings at the local nightly hot spots, up comes a presidential election with an Ivy League educated young black man versus a career military minded, older white politician.

And a recession occurs.
And the real estate market is upended.
And people start losing jobs.
And frustration sets in.
And I gotta close my curtains so no one will see my flat screen hanging on my living room wall.

And I start seeing redneck truck drivers with anti-Obama T-shirts on with the acronym C.H.A.N.G.E. on it. I'm sure you already know what they 'changed' it to, right?
C.ome H.elp A N.igger E.lected - Nice, huh?

And lawn signs calling for the extinguishing of 'neggards'
and thanking George Bush for his service.

And 2 days ago, I was listening to a radio report where Cindy McCain stated that Obama voted against funding her son while in Iraq. I pulled into a truck stop to refuel and I guess some cat was blasting either the report I heard or the entire speech on his truck radio and he was crying.

Crying because that 'ignorant black fella' hates us real Americans and wants the troops to die'.

He was being consoled by a other truckers and it was myself and another brother walking back to the fuel line with his lunch I guess. They were speaking loudly, trying to bait us to either intervene or something. I looked at that brother and he put his head down and moved swiftly to his truck and took off, leaving his drink on the top step of the truck. Like it was 1959. I wasn't going to fight these guys, but I wasn't going to get intimidated either. So I asked myself: What would Jesus do?

Nothing. Because there is no Jesus. This wasn't even a Godforsaken situation because no god would put anyone in the various situations that I've been in during my lifetime. So I went into my mental rolodex to pull out some zen-like shit to help me overcome the moment. I needed to keep my job and stay out of jail and I remembered a few things I learned from the soapbox preachers and pseudo revolutionaries that talked of change. Religion is bullshit. Revolution will never happen without proper finance and God doesn't need your 20%. You're guilty until proved innocent and one day, when white folks with bad credit lose their land and black folk with good credit can't get a loan to get the white folk's land cheaply and nobody is at work because everybody got laid off...

The innocent will probably die. Bystanders usually are the ones that get hit during the shootout.

So this weekend I plan on arming myself. I'm taking the wife to a gun range to teach her how to properly take out a target with tactical precision. One shot - one kill.

See, I have something to live for and I will not let anyone take that away. I will not be a kool-aid drinker to any politician and I don't owe anyone anything, regardless what they believe. See, the fragile balance of the world is starting to tip and the one thing I do plan on doing is living through the bullshit. My neighborhood is falling apart and folks are beginning to challenge me and I will not put my head down and walk away. I will not be marginalized, undervalued and underestimated and you will not impede on my freedoms. I have just become as nationalist as the confederate flag waiving redneck and I am not afraid to defend what is mine.

See, my people were stolen from another land and I was born here, just as free with all of the rights and freedoms as anyone born here. I see the bullshit coming and I ain't having any of that shit. Your malt liquor, high fructose corn syrup and boring TV programs never lulled me, and I ain't falling for the chains and whips when my ancestors were shackled in chains and beaten with whips. I'm angry because all this time you were waiting for me to lay down. You may have cracked out my brother and made my educated brother ignorant with useless information but I see the zeitgeist and I already know how this process works.

Do your homework, y'all. Know what is about to happen.

I want to remain free. All that I've been through leads up to me using all that I've been taught and all that I have seen to survive this moment. That anger was buried there to help me in this moment. I ain't no prophet and I am not predicting a happening, just know that all that is happening today happened before in history. We better learn from the past so we are not doomed to repeat it.


Bananas said...

In 1984 a College Professor told me that within my lifetime, I would see two things. The total collapse of the world financial markets, and another revolution in the United States.

I didn’t believe him. So far however, he’s one for two.

aquababie said...

@ terry, i think he's gonna be two for two...

the things i'm seeing....the way people are behaving kind of scary. i believe it happens though. i lived in mississippi all my life, so i've seen and heard some things.

i'm seriously thinking about where me and my man should go.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Hi Brown Blogger. Your post was written clearly written from your heart and with both eyes open. It was fascinating.

On Oct 2, you wrote another post that ended with a real cliff hanger: The Obama campaign does not like certain black people.

In today's post, I get the sense that you and your wife quite your five week mission to work for the campaign. I wish you would write about this, and again from your heart and why. If any of your readers aren't open-minded enough to accept your experience and respect your feelings about it, eff 'em.

And as for these scary times, no shit. McCain-Palin rallies have a distinct Nazi-flavor, particularly last week. Haters at Fixed News and other racist rags have been planting seeds for ignorance and race riots for months.

I don't blame the above commenter for wondering if she and her man should pack up and move out of KKK territory - there's going to be a blood bath if Obama wins, and these old time rednecks will try their best to take him out every chance they get.

It's like this country is about to repeat the Civil War, and the funny thing is that Barack is as far removed from being a radical as they get. He's pro-corporate, pro-Zionist, FISA-supporting politician who coincidentally happens to be gifted and black.

Will his blackness help Black America? It shouldn't hurt us like McCain will, but help us? Eh.

Hope you write again, soon.

melette said...

This touched me on so many levels. I really can't express how I'm feeling right now.

Trelly said...

Wow very powerful post.