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


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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rant Of The Week

Sometimes you gotta' listen, even if it hurts to agree.



Part One:




But wait, there's more - Part Two:




This cat makes 'Uncle Ruckus' look like a black revolutionary.




What say you?



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Friday, October 30, 2009

I'd Rather Have Waffles... Unless You're Waffling

Yesterday I had a series of meetings, a couple were during the day, the other one happened late evening and lasted well into the night.

Business opportunities, you know.

These gatherings were with folks I work with in an aspect that I as well as they are 1099 people. Interesting things come out of the mouths of self-employed folks. No one was arrogant or over the top with opinion, it's just amazing to hear from a contingent of people that are truly this country's backbone.

I must disclose that I met with two different types of folk from different cultural backgrounds.

One group was amazed with my learned-ness, and asked more questions than being in the position to give answers due to a particular belief and a series of conditioning. The other group was amazed in what came out of my mouth as well, but more than anything wanted to partner with me to tap into what they felt was a market or community untapped because of cultural conditioning.

One group repeated what the talking heads have been spouting off on TV and radio for most of the year regarding the shift, scope and 'look' of politics. The other group countered the spin by offering ideas as to why we are here now culturally.

I didn't bring a thing up politically (as most of you probably cannot believe). I was there to learn about a new venture I'm involving myself with and to teach what I had learned over the past year about some new stuff about to launch...

Leads me to ask you guys a question:

Where in the hell do you get your news?

I mean real news because corporate-owned cable network news doesn't count. All of that stuff regardless of where it comes from is listed as entertainment, a part of a prime time personality line up or as an opinionated radio talk format, and none of these folk are journalists. I find it funny that some people actually think that Keith, Glenn, Rush, Rachel, Sean, Bill, Ed, Anderson, Randi, Wolf, Stephanie, Rev Al, Warren and a host of others from either left or right of center actually report news when they continually preface their opinion by saying that they don't.

Because that ain't news.

You might learn something about what happened today but... That ain't the news kid. I don't watch them cats and kittens for news. I get my stuff from the source, and as of right now I ain't telling because I wanna know where you guys get yours from. A lot of opinion and action has been placed in what other people tell us. Most folks take personal opinion as the news of the day and take the spin and spin it some more.

That angers me because I met with two millionaires and a countless number of business owners yesterday. Their influence thru the products they sell based on their account of the news (from both groups I met with) scares the hell out of me.

You can put syrup on shit, but it doesn't make it pancakes...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Goes Around...

Good morning world...

It's damn near November and I am not trying to look at the calender. 2009 has already taken its toll on me. I have had so much taken away this year, but I am humbled and am still grateful for the little that I still have.

I have gratitude.
I recognize grace.

I am appreciative to all of those that have inspired me and have given unselfishly to help me advance, even though sometimes I might not show it. Except in one case. In that one exception, I have not forgotten. Hatred and contempt cannot be easily be removed from my heart, so I remain silent.

Still.

To act on those feelings would be to compromise a lot more than I'm willing to give, especially to that particular person or that situational. But I don't forget. I cannot, I will not. Never that. I already have blood on my hands from days past that I have not resolved yet in my life that affects my here and now, so the past is the past. When I address those things (in due time), I'll address that as well.

Some of you have no idea what the hell I was just talking about, and that's probably a good thing. The other thing I brought up at the end of that is the fact like a few of my brethren and sistren, we feel responsible for what we participated in as members of the military in campaigns past. That overwhelming feeling of... Whatever it is still weighs heavily on our hearts today. That ain't karma either. More on that later. It definitely puts things into perspective though. Makes huge, life changing things we think could be the catylist for change seem petty and insignificant. I have a past and I have hurt people and done things I am not proud of. Some things are bigger than others.

And when I think about what I did as a soldier.
Most of you will never know that feeling, and I will never question your opinion on war and such.
Just know that you have no clue and probably should remain silent.
Unless you served. That's the one thing from my past that bothers me still.

Knowing that I came home in one piece, that I survived and have been successful in not hitting the bathroom floor when I piss (as opposed to changing a bag like some) has always humbled me and put me back where I belong when I start questioning the grand scheme of things. Earlier this year I started to question things. I wanted a word with the chief master architect. That was waaaay before my branch got rattled and I started losing friends, family and influential people.

I lost my place. I forgot that adjustments in the universe had to be made and eventually, that ish will affect me. And then I listen to one of my favorite De La Soul joints, 'Held Down':



Held Down - Featuring Cee Lo
 
This is dedicated to all my folks
Diagnosed with a bad case of that proper upbringin
And never took the time to fall in line or follow
or swallow the thoughts
Of the recognized committees who lurk throughout ya cities
Ya hood, ya town, no matter which type
You from the same type of people try to hold you down
Just because you tailor made for bigger and better things
Never missed a chance to move ahead of things
And what does it bring?  I tell you for me
it brought jealousy in backrooms from all the stabbin
Cats posin as my fan just to get grabbin what's mine
I'm livin in times where my daughters are found around
kids who can't afford thinkin caps
But always found drinkin raps and eatin off beats
Claimin laws of the streets - but who made the laws?
Everybody playin Rebel with no sign of a Cause
 
Well I, feel the world around me
I've found, that others, will bring you down, just to be down
You've got to make up your mind, where you wanna be
Where you wanna go with your life
With your life...
 
Yo, I'm never singin the blues but findin the clues to maintain
And I been blessed to reign supreme over nearly every dream
I had, and I made it come true
I'm an imperfect man and I'm holdin the clue
to perfection, it doesn't seem to matter what direction I look
I find people settin traps
Tryin to find the goal - without havin any maps
Even friends of mine, jumped on line, just to become my adversary
They felt they were entitled to the dairy I made
They don't come to chill or behave
And they got, toast ready to burn
Not learnin to live, but they yearnin to take what you earn
 
Well I, feel the world around me
I've found, that others, will bring you down, just to be down
You see - you've got to make up your mind, where you wanna be
And where you wanna go with your life
With your life...
 
So quick to place blame... and deny the shame we bring upon ourselves
So many names held accountable for my own account
When a large amount was weight - that I made and shaped
When I climbed I found
It was hard to find others around to point my fingers at
Which made me realize the truth
The biggest suppressor could be your own ego lookin for an excuse
to plant roots, in a field of self-sorrow
to sprout and follow the first thing you feel
Nourishes your hunger to be respected, it gets hectic
And when I'm watchin the news, and my daughter walks in
and choose to ask, 'Why were all those people on the floor
sleepin, covered in red?'  I told her
that they were lookin for God, but found religion instead


Well I, feel the world around me
I've found, that others, will bring you down; just to be down
You see, you've got to make up yo' mind, where you wanna be
And where you wanna go with yo' life
With your life, with your life...


I need my SPACE, to live... Y'all don't hear me... Y'all don't hear me

Well I, feel the world around me
I've found, that others, will bring you down; just to be down
You see, you've got to make up yo' mind, where you wanna be
And where you wanna go with yo' life
With your life, with your life...
 
De La Soul 
- from the album 'A.O.I : Bionix' - 2001 


I'm just one dude. A cat with immediate responsibilities. Married. Both parents still around, remarried at that so there are step parents. Siblings, all with children. Work that has to be done. Taxes to pay. Shorties to mentor. Nieces and nephews to teach and support. Cousins, aunts and uncles. I have a grandmother. Political opinion, meaning I'm a constituent. I have friends that actually give a damn about me and mine and I return that favor as well. I create verse and song, not that much these days but my mind is full even though I recently lost my creative department and biggest critic and motivator, stuff is still there to be manufactured. I'm a blogger (whatever that means, I've been slipping on posting y'all). My place is home with my wife, spending time with friends and family, being able to stand firm on my civic duties, volunteering, creating new literary pieces and making a little music.

The external including friends, family and all that seem familiar will change on that ass in an instant. It is supposed to. Just because you don't want it to...

This has happened in my universe in the most dramatic fashion this entire year. I never panicked or lost focus... Well until a close friend passed away recently. I lost my place in things. I was at the tail end of a much needed correction in my marriage. We put everydamn thing on hold and went on the road because the vibe my wife and I had when I was driving my truck and when she traveled with me was good. I needed to bring that balance back and we were to work toward compromise on how we would live, I knew that we both thrust ourselves in to something that seemed almost impossible from the jump. Relocation, instant house and giving up living strictly for self.

We were supposed to do that. And we did.

We also moved out of our house and existed without a valid address for the length of the summer. Had to give that up because of its toxicity. We had no immediate plans on finding housing in Chicago when we left. We actually acted on our faith in finding a space in the respective cities we ended up in during our road trip. Funny how we ended up back in Chicago. Funny how we found a home here recently. Funny that we're taking possession of said home and will be there for hopefully the next thirty years.

We were supposed to find that house. And we did.

I wanted to go thru a detox program and go vegetarian... Ish. But a friend did it instead and the results are amazing. I did fast a few times on the road trip and my wife bought me a more powerful juicer and I took advantage of that right when my body began to indicate to me that after living twelve years with diabetes, arthritis and high cholesterol it began to show in my body's outwardly performance. Funny how quickly phyto-nutrition and herbacuticals reverses the effects of bad eating habits and a pharmaceutical residual presence .

I was supposed to go veg. And I did that. It was easier than I thought too.

Out of all of the things I gave up, things that were taken away and people I lost, I feel like I'm supposed to be right where I am even though sometimes I feel the urge to question it. I'm not saying that I understand all of this because I don't and I know never will. I know that The Creator has a master plan and I feel comfortable in whatever that is because I am still here, primed to make my mark and carry on for those that no longer can. Just a few months ago I felt like things were being taken from me and I felt like I was being both tested and put on trial for past transgressions but karma doesn't work like that. For those keeping score at home it never has so find something better to do.

I have also been inspired to do something amazing and become a true intercessor for others by one of the closet people to me that I recently lost. The motivation, opportunity and resources opened itself to me in the most amazing fashion. It is because of what my friend went through and what I learned about those processes that I am motivated to do what I pledged. I'm not going to share that now because I am once again a student and I have much to learn in becoming what I feel that I'm being led to become. I feel that I've been put in the place to do this because of what has happened in my recent past and now that I look back on all that has happened in my relationships and with my location, re-location(s) and possessions...

The Creator has a master plan for me. The changes are nowhere from being done. I just have to maintain myself in my current status and be patient... I never thought after doing what I've done in the past that i would get an opportunity to be a better person.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Audacity Part II... (This Time It's Personal!)

Okay...

I was talking about hope and my weird relationship with it.

I have some, somewhere. I suffer from bouts of it like everyone else. It comes in unbelievable spouts of regular-ness, but it ain't like how 'Aunt-Flo' treats her nieces. Sometimes I just wish it did because sometimes...

I need a little hope just to get me thru these days nowadays.

Things have been so different since August 30. On that day I didn't even know that I had already lost one of the closest people to me. It was the next day, that Monday very early that another close friend called me to inform me. That phone call shattered my calm and since then I've been spinning, trying so very damn hard to put death into perspective.  Whereas I have come to terms that I cannot get my friend back, I realized that she was much more than that. Well, I think a few people know that she was a creative partner, helping construct a lot of stuff I've done in the past 5 years. If you didn't, you do now. She was more than a friend that had access to the inner workings of my daily habit as well becoming a jokey/cynical-ass muppet judge that sat in the balcony of my life with sly commentary on every production, including all of the bad shit. Her commentary was welcome and warranted and I miss her dearly. Since the loss of my sister, my motivation to create has been low to non-existent because she' ain't here.

But I still want to do stuff. At first I didn't want to do new stuff creatively because she ain't here anymore... And then hope kicked in and affected me to continue.

The road trip ended a week after going  back to Atlanta to attend my friend's homegoing service. To my surprise things were upbeat and celebratory. There were other factors in making me feel better about the situation and there were people there that I connected or reconnected with that gave me peace, but the circumstances in bringing me from what was our newly settled home in Las Vegas back to Chicago after my friend's death and the circumstances that have us back in Chi-Town had left me clueless for a brief moment in what to do next. Things are different because I'm a married man and I have to lead, defend, protect and provide even if I consider my wife (and I do) equal, even and just as equitable in our life partnership as I do.

I was looking for hope in everything and for a moment, I didn't think I could find it again. And then I turned on the TV.

In a little under a year, the phrase hope had been replaced with so many other nouns and narratives that I had to blink a few times and check to see if I had been jettisoned to a past era. The hope that had inspired many to accept few had faded. The result of that version of spread hope opened a pandora's box of emotion and revealed true feelings from many that neither snapped my neck in disbelief or surprised me.

But it did push me back. It also made me think about if there was any residual hope left for me to have and use in my personal situations. I mean, my marriage is fine, my earnings are stable and my future prospects are solid, but if I lost my ability to create and express myself where would I be? How does coming to terms with the death of a friend and partner affect the creative output of a person? I'm finding out right now because I'm going thru it, and it feels rather empty. I really need hope as a means to motivate and excite myself...




I gotta get into traffic. Again. More later I guess.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Got Nothing... Today

Guess it's going to be one of those kinda' long week-ending wrap up type posts tomorrow.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's The Audacity, Stupid! (Pt 1)

Let me tell y'all something about hope.

Well first, there was this girl named Hope that I was so in love/lust with back when I was a lil' puppy dog back in Catholic school. She used to wear these white knee to thigh high stockings with her skirt and a very form fitting blouse that had even the administrator's eyes popping. Hope had filled in before most of the girls had, and she had necks snapping. I can still remember Hope's swag as a young woman, turning the heads of the do-wop cats crooning on the corner and the parents shaking their heads, pulling off in their Volvos as they picked up their kids, hoping that their little boys remain unaffected by her attitude and for her to somehow remain unseen by their underclassman-ish men-children who at that time suffered underdeveloped and hormonally unbalanced eyes and minds.

It was too late for me. My thoughts of her made a mess in my house, particularly in my private spaces (mentally) and physical places um... Like the bathroom my brother and I shared. Don't judge me. I was like twelve! Okay, it was somewhere between twelve and fourteen. I tell ya, it was like a frozen neckbone sprayed with nitroglycerin back then and I couldn't heat it up enough to stand up not matter how hard I tried. That Boy Scout manual about rubbing sticks together causing friction to create heat? Didn't friggin' work so that neckbone never melted.

At all. Thanks to her. 

No, seriously. Thank you Hope! Came in handy years later, like after I got inducted and sworn in.

Wherever you are Hope G., I remember you and wish you well. You really gave me hope somewhere back in the recesses of my head that I could get some and remain unexploded because I was full of lust. Or something. I just knew it had to get out and you provided fodder for it to flow freely from me even though at that time I was uncontrolled and needed a muzzle. Thanks for being you and providing that visual, aiight? Wit' your curvy ass. Lord have mercy! Pre-teen spank worthy, y'all.

But anyway...

Hope is something we seem to be loaded with that we're also throwing away like the energy we normally use to keep in shape that we never use and then how we let it go to waste and then it goos up leaving us with a treadmill that we use to display stuff in the third room that was supposed to be the home gym that we never go in anymore and we forgot to put the CFL light bulbs in so when one flips the power switch it looks all dim in there... And what is that smell?

See? That's the fall 2009 version of hope. Conveniently spoiled because it mostly sat on the shelf from last year where it was damn near overused, and rightfully so. Most of us lost the key to the stinky room where hope lies, meaning either the intent was misplaced or the tools to get us to turn hope into something better is. And that was never the intent. And y'all know I agree with Dr. Wayne Dwyer and his theory on the power of intent, right?

Yeah you do.




Now I gotta go. Something has come up and today's post is nowhere near finished. I'll be back later, cause I gotta tell y'all about how I went to church yesterday and actually liked it as well as bring my hope message on home.

Highway driving to the city on a Monday... Sheesh!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Today Is A Good Day To Die/The Confrentation

You know that I love you
But I hate your ass

I never gave a thought bout' what happened in your past
But you do about me
And you ride me with it

You go and get all angry
Like you was living with it
But you weren't

But you like to live like you do
You love to criticize me on the things that I do
But I did all that dirt back in um.. 99

You look me in my eye and act like everything is fine
But it isn't

And I think you wanna kill my ass
all on some bullshit thad had happened in the past
It done gestated, been birthed and grown and died
Your friends like to tell you without looking in your eye

Because they wish that they could have been a part of the drama
That's why I never effed with em' cause they would have tried to be my momma

And try to always tell a brother what he had to do
And now they telling your ass that I'm doing harm to you

They want to desecrate a dead woman's honor and say that I cheated
Tried to wrap me in some bullshit from the south, but that wrap - I beat it

And you still feel the urge to take their words over mine
Never did you ever give my honest ass the time
But it's cool

Cause now I only go for delf
I'm only concerned with well being
And knowledge of self

But you know that

I double dog dare you to challenge
To emotionally deal with my ass you must manage

And you probably cannot do that
But I expect that you do
Because I never given thought to passing judgment on you

But whatever...

I maintain that I'm feeling fine
And you can never even scratch the surface of harming me or mine
So gone head
I'll just say to do what you do
You can't shatter my progress... You're gonna need a crew

But I warn you
You gonna need heavyweights at with no slack
Because it'll take a nation to hold my millions back

And I'm rich, bitch
And you can't even cash a check
I'll tell you like ODB did...
You best protect your neck

And I'm all family

These days I'm proteting my kids
Grandma, Auntie, Momma
And some cousins doing bids

And that's all I got to live for, so just gone head and try
After what just happened, I ain't afraid to die
So just bring it

I WANT you to come to the table
Cause how I'm doing my ish
The stories ain't no fable

All I need is a reason
I'm sure you got plenty
And if you cannot think of one
I'm sure I'll suggest many

If you try to act like you don't know
I can tell you why
You may not even be ready
But I'm ready to die.

Just try me.

created on the fly - Ya Dig?   - 2009 - Hassan Olumoroti Ntimbanjayo

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pluralization Versus Possession

I'd have a better day if I knew that folks actually understood the meaning and difference between pluralization and punctuation when composing a simple phrase.

The lack of understanding and its blatant misuse by grown-ass folk drives me mad.

I almost want to declare my candidacy in the midterm elections on a platform using aggressive legislature to curtail excessive usage of apostrophes on the ass end of words because folks have no clue that it gives the noun possession rather than giving it the pluralization it desperately and properly needs.

Sigh.

See, this is why I feel like running around the place with a Hot Wheels race track strip randomly giving out lashes to sign makers, memo creators, random emailers and the such.

I think I might dress up as 'LetterMan' (Electric Company, not Worldwide Pants) for Halloween, but I know that folks will never take me seriously. Especially after a few drinks.

Shit.

That didn't even make sense to me!

See! Whatever.

Monday, October 12, 2009

If You'd Like To Leave A Message...

Mentally and spiritually, I am not in a good place.

Nope, I'm not depressed, suicidal or just plain angry. What I know about my current status is that I'm in a phase (oh, I hope it's a damn phase) where I could care less. I mean, I care for my family and myself. I care about the state of the world today and all that other stuff. I comment politically and have certain social views that some can say are left of center and others can identify as right wing as well. I wish the greatest things of this world and the sub-societies that make it all up, but let me say this...

I really couldn't care less. And for those that served with me in the military and attended undergrad and such, you know I have the foulest of all foul mouths and I could really express myself using some stanky-ass narratives but I won't.

Not this time.
Not today.
Not going there.

Yep, it's a mental thing. It's also possible that some metaphysical psychoanalytical, Keith Olbermann type rant is forming in the faulted recesses of my mind. I don't care. It's probably that I would love to concern myself only with the comfort of living life and that means that I could care less about the meanderings of others.

But I do.

And that's what scares the hell out of me.

Y'all don't know what's going on inside of my mind. I have to maintain my calm so I won't do anything dumb.

Well, it all depends on what one considers dumb I guess. Something has to happen, something has to give and it won't be me.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Lot To Think About

Today is the day after the day marked as the anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan.

So I guess this makes today the first day of the ninth year of the 'War Against Terror'.

Funny, there's a video going round the innernets' where a terrorist attack took the life of a 16 year old kid right on the streets of Chicago. No 6 billion dollar infusion to keep the streets safe like what congress just approved to chase Bin Laden around, huh? Shame. I bet the Albert family feels the same as them folks that lost a loved one the day the twin towers got attacked, that's for sure.

The one thing that our president probably didn't figure while running for the office that he currently holds is that he would be a war president.  No man that has ever sat in that office I believe actually wants to be a war president. If there is anything that the president has inherited it is this war, and as a former liberal law professor at a prestigious midwestern university, the belief from conservative individuals and those right of center is that he must debate both sides and that ain't good thing to them because they need results now because there is no time. Al Queada is right over there and we must smoke em' out!

It's funny because no one actually asked the families or the soldiers themselves, I mean the soldiers really have no say but it would be nice if Congress turned around and asked its constituents exactly what they wanted to do seeing as the original purpose for this war was in retaliation to a particular group of terrorists that participated in the attacks on New York City September 11, 2001. And the fact that the last 10 casualties that came of this war at the time that I am writing this came from individuals wearing Afghan uniforms. That's right, the good people in that region feel that we are occupiers and they no longer want us there but if we leave, our lack of military presence might quite possibly lead to a civil war which of course will affect both Pakistan and India.

Tough times to be a war president, huh?

What exactly would you do?



So I'm watching television last night and I come across MSNBC and lo and behold Keith Olbermann dedicated a whole hour for special commentary that he gave on healthcare and the need for reform. I thought that Mr. Olbermann gave great explanations in his commentary and did his best to put a human face to a subject where a lot of people seem to be misinformed, uneducated and confused. There were parts of his commentary that beat on things that he probably could've deleted in preparing his text, but I think in explanations given he did a great job and breaking things down so that the average Joe could understand. I also believe that this was a call to action that I am very willing to support.

Where I am a little sad is that he waited till the very last portion of his commentary to actually bring the idea forward, but I think for individuals across this country who have been affected by healthcare negatively (which is a lot of us) to donate time, effort, money and good, researched information in supporting the National Association of Free Clinics in its effort in sponsoring free clinics in five cities (Little Rock, Butte, MT, Las Vegas, Baton Rouge, and Lincoln NE) represented by Democratic senators who could vote to stop a GOP filibuster against health care reform when a final bill hits the floor sometime later this month.

In reading the reviews to Olbermann special commentary, I see that there are a lot of cynics. A lot of folk who hate MSNBC wrote the speech off and belittled the man and the problems he and his father experienced with the health care system during his illness in the past two months. Yes Keith Olbermann has money and his dad has insurance, but it seems the the family's experience with the health care system is and was pretty much like yours and mine. And yes, there was that call at the end of his commentary to make things very even and equal for every citizen of this country. I just wish those who belittle the family, the process and the call for health care reform would have had least listened because of my personal opinion, we're all getting screwed.




Which leaves us me to spout a comment or two about another TV journalist/personality in Anderson Cooper. He popped up on CNN  standing in the spot where a brutal fight occurred which took the life of 16-year-old Derrion Albert. In his usual crisp delivery there was a twinge of concern and question in the asking of why things like this occur so many times not just on the mean streets of Chicago but in all a lot of urban metropolises. He had a team of reporters who covered the meetings that the Attorney General and the school czar attended with community leaders, school officials and high-level types from the city of Chicago.

They threw $30 million at a problem that they're not willing to think tank and try to bring resolution to. They gave $500,000 to the high school that Derrion attended In an effort to incentivize future attendance by neighborhood kids. The one thing I do know about this current administration is that they like to throw money at problems and think that the finances itself balances things out. Extension of unemployment benefits are definitely needed. Stimulus money for the building of bridges, roads, and schools as well as hospitals and other large institutions is probably necessary as well.  Throwing money at a social problem and targeting 10,000 at risk kids without realizing that the other 400,000 that attend the Chicago public school system and not thinking that they are at risk is a problem in thinking and a mistake and action.

The kids that do have male role models might also need counseling as well but, there should be bridge programs, increased academic activity, social and academic mentoring as well as a system of checks and balances to make sure that home training is taught and overstood because this is where behavior stems. Having a poverty mentality, being taught a warped sense of social activity as well as having a lot of parents still knee-deep in gang activity practically guarantees that a child will fail. Our children are products of their environment, and if a parent doesn't have their act together what in the hell do you think the child is going reflect in his or her actions?

I'm damn near 40 years old and I can count various people at arms distance in my old neighborhood, folks I went to school with, folks I worked beside and some family members that still have gang ties. I know a crackhead or two, a bunch of weed heads and a few mothers that still kick it to the club and dress 10 times sexier than their young adult daughter that'll go after their man! I ain't talking about still living in the hood and knowing folk that can you can get a hookup from, I'm talking about folks who are still a part of the he say/she say population of the culture that hasn't grew the fuck up. It's funny because police last night just raided and confiscated more than $18,000 of cash, cocaine and rock cocaine, marijuana and a bevy of automatic and semiautomatic weapons from the house of a 43-year-old man right down the street from Fenger high school were Derrion was killed.

Dude is 43 years old. Now mash that up and combine his kids, his workers, that particular element in the neighborhood and its mentality with your kid. How in the hell can you NOT want to drive your kid or just let them walk, nevertheless leave them at school? We do have to correct the mentality and be more open and honest with our children and this in fact, starts at home. Because folks are so poor in certain parts of the own large metropolitan areas the poverty mentality is overwhelming and it's hurting our kids.

The lack of fathers, resources, mentors and time from working parents in the hood puts a lot of children in deep holes that they can't dig out of, so there's a lot of hopelessness from the jump. Last night I watched a lot of tearful parents and school age children give tearful pleas for the mayor or the superintendent of schools, even the attorney general to do something when a lot of folks fail to realize that the power is in their own hands and we ourselves can do something to take our communities back. The money is welcome but this type of finance will provide no solutions whatsoever. The money will run out and 10,000 at risk kids targeted for mentoring and job training will eventually graduate which still leaves damn near a half million public school children still at risk.

What about them?

So much to think about, so much to do. So little resources and very few leaders to actually lead. Who's going to step up and take the weight?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

He Just Keeps On Talking!: The Ballad Of A Longwinded Bastard

 you know what that means, so go get a glass of lemonade and make a sammitch first... it's a long one!

I started this blog more than five years ago as a way to express myself, release, and just have a little fun, journaling online because I knew there were like-minded people such as myself out there looking for... I don't know, something. And I was looking too

Last year about this time, well to be honest it was September and this month I was excited with the prospect of working for the Obama campaign. I knew there would be backstabbing, internal politics, nepotism and patronage within the movement itself. I was right but I still attended. My wife and I got trained through one of the local "Camp Obama" training thingees and I was satisfied with what I was doing as a citizen and future constituent. And then a lot of that politrick shit that I mentioned earlier hit home and kicked into overdrive.

On a few of the things that actually occurred I never wanted to make a big deal of some things because I didn't want to badmouth the campaign and I started getting emails and a facebook friend request from a woman named Shelby Holliday that was reporting for Fox News. I think she wanted an inside report of some sort of infighting and internal politics. You know, friction within, but there were good people that volunteered, trained folks, and canvassed the streets that were harmless and really wanted their candidate to win. It wasn't in my place to disrupt anything and I vowed that I would step away from commenting on politics via this medium until I felt good and ready. Guess what? I think I feel kind of ready.

We are less than one month away from the one year anniversary of what I still consider a historic election. I believe we got what we asked for in a new president. I also feel that compared to not just the last eight years, but maybe quite possibly the last 10 years that things are going politically in a direction that I pretty much thought they would with as a result of the election. Because of who our president is, I figured that there would be backlash and a little buyer's remorse by some that voted (some folks still claim that they did not 'know' him. So much for the personal vetting process). What I honestly did not figure would happen would be the current level of hatred, racism and the all out full-fledged effort to de-legitimize, marginalize, undervalue and underestimate the current sitting president of the United States. Some have even gone so far to criminalize some of his actions.

Not that I'm shocked...

I'm more shocked and appalled in the behavior, the lackadaisical nature, and the silence of the actual constituents of the sitting president of the United States. I am also sickened to my stomach in the complete failure in my people's resolve, the lack of fight, accountability and the all-out low self-esteem we seem to have these days. I've said it before and I'll say it again:


'A scared Negro will get you killed.'
                                                     -    Hassan Ntimbanjayo

So as someone who is not afraid to speak, not afraid to say names, dates and occurrences on my blog without littering them with semicolons dots, dashes and the sort, I guess I'm back in the game if you will as far as writing political commentary on the blog. I'm also aware that my blog feeds onto facebook and there are a lot of people who I know in that forum who are unaware that I'm actually a blogger or something. For those of you that don't regularly read my blog, no big deal. You'll probably read something that you haven't before since friending me own facebook so be not afraid.

Don't worry, I'm still that same guy. I used to be a little angry, but not anymore. My only concern these days is the quality of life of my family, friends, business associates and people who advocate peace, unity, love and having fun. Everyone else on the planet that likes drama and are hellbent on seeing people fail and back it up through their words and actions I have no empathy for. There is a great place within the flames of hell in which their soul can burn, and I wish them expedience on their trip to that particular place

In the past year, we've witnessed a grass roots movement of individuals Republican, Democrat and Independent who have placed a great need in marginalizing the presidency. They've used out right lies, un-researched facts, gossip, rumor and innuendo as well as various forms of the media to spread what I perceive as hatred which have planted the seeds of horrific thought yet be done against a particular set of peoples, various metropolises, living areas both urban & suburban and against certain individuals. It has been so blatant that it can be construed as 2 1/2 inches short of outright terrorism. And for that same year I've watched the targets that I just mentioned do little to nothing to defend or protect themselves. Well, some of them still walk the earth like idle threats were thrown their way while others do have protection, thank God.

So I have a suggestion. Just as some in the majority have targeted some in the minority, and just as some in this new minority have targeted some new players in the majority, I say we educate, train and prepare ourselves as well as arm ourselves to the full extent of what we've seen on TV at town hall meetings and those large revoltist gatherings using every extent of every law as well as every encumbrance we have as a people in this nation. Through software that monitors this blog, I know that there are some that read my words who don't live in this country but for those that do it's time to arm yourself, protect your children, stand your ground, practice, experience and appreciate the unalienable rights extended to you and I by the constitution of these United States.

But it does start at home.

As a black man in America I'm embarrassed in the way that young black men represent who I am. I am angry at some of my brothers my age and older for the lack of accountability and responsibility in raising their sons. I understand that there are some that have a poverty mentality and we know exactly where it comes from. The real crime problem in America is folks not properly addressing the real issues affecting our families. Benign neglect, racism and poverty has plagued us for generations and as a result our children have taken to the streets with an attitude of lawlessness and disrespect.

This is wholeheartedly our fault.

My wife and I do not have any children, but we've been blessed with 12 nieces and nephews. Most of our friends, cousins who are peers, former classmates and coworkers have children. I was a child that came from a two-parent family and have a close-knit 4 generation family, so I know a thing or two about being raised and the stresses it causes some and the responsibilities that others take to keep things in line. As someone who proudly served my country in the United States military I do know a thing about discipline and sacrifice. As the son of a drug addict who left the family I know a thing or two about the devastation narcotics and alcohol causes families. As a young black man growing up on the south side of Chicago in the middle of the shit, I know a thing or two about the hustle, gang warfare, drug culture as a way of life and the reward of the prison industrial complex for partaking in those things and how it profits from housing gentlemen who look just like me for doing so.

But this story is happening just as they're writing it to happen. The experience is just as harrowing as reading our history books. There is a feeling in the air and somehow, someway the cycle could (it is) start again. What in the hell am I talking about?


Genocide - it started as an intentional extermination of our population in Africa.

Expulsion - and continued with the forcible removal of that population from our territories.

Slavery - and then it was ownership of one population by another here in America.

Segregation - and after that it turned into legal separation of groups of people of a particular race or ethnicity.

Assimilation - said formerly segregated group (us) is either forced into or volunteers to blend into the majority population.


In my humble opinion, it seems that the assimilation of the minority culture into mainstream America is literally scaring the hell out of those that have lived blissfully ignorant and comfortable in said ignorance for such a long time. It really shouldn't be this way because no one here is truly native of this country anydamnway except for those who now live on reservations. But that way of life has been a particular way for so long the children of the fathers can feel the vibration of this underground movement that almost seems evolutionary in its process.

But isn't this how America came to be? Isn't this the process in which families grew and expanded? Isn't this the way we became the 'melting pot' of people? Isn't it fairly obvious that through some of the suggestions of creating new policies and social programs from folks left of center and a few on the right that this has smoked out old, seemingly 'buried' fears that have been newly realized by a younger generation? The folks who realize this fear will do anything to keep these programs, policies, standards and practices at bay and at this particular point they are doing literally any and everything, and that means they will vote against their own interests (again - see 25 years ago) and you may remain a slave to the corporate interests and the military-industrial complex that funds this country and bullies the rest of the world.

Now is not the time to lose focus. All candor and politeness in discussion has been lost. These are the times to shed all things external that distract us, re-instill the values of honor, trust, and respect to our children, eat to live and arm ourselves both literally and figuratively because the charges to take back America from the so-called unrighteous have trickled down from fingering the president, his cabinet and congress to the organizations, grass roots champions, fundraisers, ministers and contributors as well as his constituents and supporters.

The threats are real. Just 25 years ago there was a huge conservative movement that dismantled a ton of social programs and killed the funding for a lot of other programs that helped raised a downtrodden people up in previous years. Now I'm not saying that it will take big government to rekindle the flames of self-reliance, but just as drugs were funneled into the hood in the mid to late 60s and early 70s the same can be said about high-fructose corn syrup, fast food, and useless & uninformative sources of media designed to distract and numb. With bad nutrition, the rumblings of the utter uselessness of self, the lack of truth in media and just plain bad entertainment with not a single 'artist' holding his or herself accountable for the undue influence art has on folks (especially our children), one does not have to land on Park Place to lose his or her house. The game of monopoly is being played on your mind, your body and your soul.

We have to take ourselves back. We also have to rebuild spirit. That means becoming more businesslike in our approach to earn money for families and paying our bills. Working more than 40 hours a week just to pay bills, living check-to-check and having nothing in your pocket afterward is not a way to work for your future or care for our kids.

Living in the mecca of capitalism and knowing all the words to 'Hustlers Anthem', we should be more enterprising or so we can use our remaining spare time to be home and around our kids. Marriage and/or unions should be treasured, respected and remade back into the standard as far as creating and maintaining our family element. Churches, social groups, fraternal organizations as well as block clubs in neighborhoods should take a more co-op styled approach for the good of its members, neighbors and congregation.

I'm not a churchgoer, but a great example is my daddy's church. They're more of a religious co-op and actually secures mortgages and performs financial planning as well as provide childcare among other services for its members.

And though some of y'all might think I'm talking up the side of my neck but...

If you could see clearly into the distance, then you already know what the alternative is.

I'm hoping that The Creator can bless me with 40+ more years. I know for the most part a solution for most of our problems are from within, and I'm addressing mine through my words, actions, nutrition and train of thought. I must clean my own house before I can tell other folks but, I tire of having to walk through a ton of trash when leaving my house to get to where I need to be when there's a big old receptacle right over there...

And I'm tired of the silence.

And getting my heart broken.

Monday, October 05, 2009

You Ignorant, Nationalist Bastards

Living in Chicago, of course we were knee deep in the Olympic bid business...

For those of you who rooted against the US (the jerseys, banners and identification says USA, not Chicago) and celebrated the failure of this country not getting the bid.

For those that actually celebrated the 'failure'...
Yes, using those words - FAILURE
For all of those folks that used the terminology that the world rejected the sitting US President

You are not patriots.
You do not love this country.
You have no love from those that actually fight/fought and have blood and lives on their hands (like myself and others - and we gotta live with that shit), and we do not love you

What you are-are a bunch of ignorant, greedy-ass, capitalistic loving, warped-ass, nationalist bastards who are worthy of death. You wanna water the friggin' tree? Then fall out of line with a racist remark like I know most of you want to do and ask me to fetch the water.

I am itching at the prospect.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

PING!

I actually wrote this Monday of last week. I actually wrote stuff every day last week, but couldn't bring myself to publish, so I kept this in my own little journal. I am not having a problem writing or telling my truths. I am having a problem wanting to live up to certain things that I have not set the standard to.

Some folk will never understand how we must live out the story even thru the twists and turns. We watch with mouths agape and never think about the pain and struggle some must have in order to make it to the next chapter.

So I give this portion of what I wrote last week. Here goes:


I heard a preacher say that our people, we're designed to struggle.

He went on to say that we're destined to take a spiritual beating in good times so when the bad comes, we would still be able to walk along our chosen path.

I have a mind to agree with that assessment because it seems like a correct one.

The past month to include this past weekend, my spirit has been taking a category five grade level ass whooping.

Funny, when I look down to the left and right of me I still see the path, although I feel like I should have had more choice in the matter, but that's selfishness talking.


I had a quiet Friday and I spoke with a few friends about attending my high school reunion coming up in a few weeks, a barbecue that I think my wife and I were invited to (we were thought of during its conception, but were invited at the last minute) and had plans to hang out with my stepdad who got released from the hospital and was to celebrate a birthday on that following Monday.

Well, after the wife got all influenza'd on me and held down the bed and bathroom all day Saturday, we definitely had plans to hit my Mom's house Sunday for the lifting of spirits of both myself and my step dad when on Sunday, that damn phone rang:

It's my mother. She once again asks for her son. I grab the phone and this time, I'm prepared to listen because NOTHING can be as bad as what I've heard in the past few weeks. Let's bullet point this conversation, shall we?

Definition of a standard bad call to Hassan complete with Saturday specifics, not standard examples
  • Sister is in the hospital
  • She's not good right now
  • Baby didn't move
  • Got the baby to move
  • Needs to have an amniocentesis done 
  • They need to take the baby ASAP 
  • Need test results back to see when they can take the baby
Now, I could not swallow my spit as my mother is telling me this. I am calm and comforting to my mom whose voice was cracking and faltering. I had to find something from deep inside of me to keep her from going off on the other end of the phone. I reassured her that everything would be okay, she found her 'phone voice', thanked me and said that she had to go somewhere and pray and hung up the phone. When I put the phone down, my mind panicked.

Again.

Let's go over why:

Amniocentesis (also referred to as amniotic fluid test or AFT), is a medical procedure used in prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities and fetal infections, in which a small amount of amniotic fluid, which contains fetal tissues, is extracted from the amnion or amniotic sac surrounding a developing fetus, and the fetal DNA is examined for genetic abnormalities.

Well alrighty then.


Now with my sister actually being a health professional as well as my mother, aunts and other family members I automatically knew what the hell was going on here and in my selfishness I cried out in my mind (because my wife was stunned as well when I told her) that once again I was being victimized by that spiritual ass-whooping. I could not fathom taking any more bad news. It was like I already had enough to process when an answer came from the deep, pained recesses that make up my twisted-ass mind:

It ain't never been about you.

I immediately felt what I thought the pain, sense of urgency and unbridled emotional anxiety my sister and brother in-law felt like. I thought about my mother and how helpless she felt in being in Chicago while her daughter lay there in a hospital bed somewhere in Texas. How my brothers felt when they heard the news. How that unborn child was feeling, trying to fight her out of the womb to breathe oxygen out of the womb unrelenting and unknowing that outside of this beautiful, safe space was yet another chapter her spirit could see and how in some very small instances she could impact us all if only given a chance.

The fact that there could be something or something could go wrong never surfaced its way to cognitive thought. Even though I knew my sister had a complicated pregnancy from the start, all I could think of was having faith.

Faith in everything outside of our human powers that this baby was a-ok and that my sister would be as well. Faith that the birth of a new life not only replaces death, but improves our lives in that person becoming. Faith in how that new life was created was probably inspired by the ones that have recently passed. I mean hey, Michael Jackson, Mary Travers and Nikki Indigo inspired many thru dancing, singing, writing and song...

I cared not what type result the ending one for this situation was. In these moments I truly believe that we were put here to deal with whatever the universe has dealt; good, bad and ugly. I had to go back and remember exactly why I was where I was and why I believe that I'm back in Chicago in this moment.

I am that intercessor.

I motivated Moms to call the airline to reschedule her trip to Texas because my sister was to have an induced childbirth on the 29th of and she was going to be there for that but the baby was coming on the 19th because nothing is planned...


I don't normally put stuff on the blog that has gone beyond its freshness date, but I realize that the blog itself and the facebook feed was dated and warranted a few pings from some of my cousins in the blogosphere. To some, I am only as good as my last status and/or blog post.