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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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?

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