Archive for the racial discrimination Category

wordle 10.01.10

Posted in humor, poetry, political commentary, politics, racial discrimination, satire and sarcasm, social commentary, Wordles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by blackstarr

Wordle: got malt? (2)

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copyright  2010  blackstarr

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young white sburbanite (excerpt from “the village”)

Posted in humor, music, poetry, politics, prose, racial discrimination, satire and sarcasm, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2010 by blackstarr

on any given friday night,

a young white suburbanite,

cruises in his beamer,

into the city, bose blastin’ fiddy.

he sports the latest, greatest, hippest, dopest, phattest rags

that his daddy’s silver spoon could buy,

but that silver spoon is the very reason why.

he protests the riches that they don’t deserve,

lashes out at his very own private federal reserve.


he’s looking for some black flava,

or some brown suga’,

or some white powder,

music getting louder.

young white suburbanite,

in the middle of the night,

loses himself in another man’s culture.

not understanding the subtleties of cp time,

he hits the club way too soon,

stands around with beer in hand,

realizes that the night was not so well-planned.

but he’s fly and hip and dope and –

and thinks he’s ahead of his time,

but the reality is that he simply

got there way ahead of time.

the music swirls within his head,

and the sistas think it’s so dred

that he’s holding his own,

while out of his element.

but to his detriment,

the beer pulls him to the dancefloor.

now, whitebread ain’t so fly no more.

and we think “ooh, that’s gotta hurt!”

beer has him moving to the beats,

the sight has us fallin’ out our seats.

“yo – young white suburbanite!

some fly sista would like ta get witcha”,

but homeboy’s homeboy has had

one too many rollin’ rocks.

young white suburbanite

struggles with all his might

to get his homeboy standing upright.

now, homeboy’s homeboy wants to fight.

young white suburbanite

came to the city,

blastin’ fiddy,

lookin’ for some black flava,

or some brown suga’,

or some white powder.

whitebread

got that gangsta beat going ‘round in his head.

cruisin’ in his jet-black beamer.

he’s just trying to understand

why we always catch it from the man.

tries to understand what that’s like,

he beats a path to every open mike,

struggles to get a feel for what it’s like.

a fruitless pursuit and he can’t see why

he can never feel the pain like you and i.

he innocently protests and lets out a sigh –

“it wasn’t me and i refuse to carry that lie”.

it’s neither out of compassion,

nor because it’s popular fashion,

but, instead, because the guilt of the fathers

prey upon the innocence of the sons.

**********

on any given friday night,

deep within the urban blight,

from dusk until daylight.

lookin’ for some

black flava,

brown suga’,

white powder.

out of the gloomy mist and into the light,

comes an urban legend . . . a young white suburbanite.

copyright  2008  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

Lose Yourself by Eminem

Images: silver spoon (metalmuseum.org), Rolling Rock beer (hoppsy.com), Flava (myrunkspace.com), Bey caricature (pinoypix.com), Philadelphia skyline (wordfromtheweb.com)

Equality In Amerikkka

Posted in political commentary, racial discrimination, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by blackstarr

equalityRichard Poplawski is a white Amerikkkan who killed three (3) Pittsburgh policemen on Saturday, April 4, 2009.  After a four-hour stand-off, he was taken into custody.  Let me say that again, in a different manner, so that you will fully comprehend:  he shot and killed three (3) policeman and was taken into custody.  When I heard the story and the outcome, I didn’t even have to wonder – I knew that he was white.  A man shot and killed three (3) policemen, and was taken into custody.  My bad – a WHITE man shot and killed three (3) policemen, and was taken into custody. Alive.  Not dead – alive!!  Only in Amerikkka!!!

copyright  ©  2009  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

Biko by Peter Gabriel

UPDATE: Hindsight is 20/20 – more appropriately

I Shot The Sheriff by Bob Marley

The Usual Suspect: an unarmed person of color

Posted in political commentary, politics, racial discrimination, social commentary with tags , , , , , on August 24, 2008 by blackstarr

Although I normally don’t mind playing the angry Black man, I have to say that at this point, it’s gettin’ old.  I have fought tooth and nail to simply read the comics, do my cryptogram and crossword, and call it a day.  Inevitably, a story moves into eyesight and I can’t help but read it out.  There is such an inequity in the way that suspects are treated by the police and the subsequent actions taken by said police when it comes down to the differences in the way incidents are handled.  That seems to depend upon whether the suspect is Caucasian or is a person of color.

In January of this year in Ohio, Tarika Wilson and her child were shot by police who came to her home to arrest her boyfriend.  Ms Wilson was killed, the child shot in the shoulder and will survive.  Ms Wilson was Black.  She was unarmed.  Earlier this month, and all-white jury dismissed all charges against the police officer.

In July of this year, twenty-seven (27) year old Mack Woodfox was shot in the back and killed by an officer who said that he thought the suspect was reaching for a gun.  The suspect was being chased by police for driving under the influence.  At the time that he was shot  (three times in the back) he was posing no threat.  He was unarmed.  He was Black.  Seven (7) months earlier, the police officer, Hector Jimenez, shot and killed another suspect.

There are other stories that I decided not to add to this blog, but, one need only go back a few months at a time to find very similar stories of unarmed Black people being shot and killed by the police.  Diallo was murdered a few years ago.  Bell was murdered recently.  Both were unarmed, posed no threat, and were shot multiple times by the police.  The list goes on and on.  Each time, one reads that the suspects were unarmed and posed no serious threat to officers or others.  Yet, these Black people are dead.  Killed.  Murdered.  What’s the worst part of it all?  The officers have gotten off in almost every case.

The real pity, the part that angers me most, is that when it comes to Caucasian suspects, police seem to find a way to “talk them down” or to use minor force to subdue the Caucasian suspects.  I have read stories of Caucasian suspects with guns, knives, bats, and numerous other items usable as weapons.  In each case, the police saw fit to persuade them to surrender.  In the case of the suspects who were people of color, they have all been unarmed and posed less of a threat than any of the Caucasian suspects who were persuaded to surrender.

Black tribes in Africa, back in the day were mighty warriors.  They conquered nations without so much as a twitch of an eye.  They were feared as the most powerful beings to ever walk the face of the earth.  Apparently, the usual suspects must be killed as opposed to being brought in.  Evidently, the usual suspects are ominous enough without a weapon.  Clearly, the usual suspects must be dealt with in a manner in which they will never become a threat to anyone.

The usual suspects are unarmed people of color.

The usual suspects are unarmed people of color.

The usual suspects are unarmed people of color.

And the usual suspects . . . are dead.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

I’m just sayin’ . . .

Posted in music, racial discrimination, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2008 by blackstarr

Freedom has returned, sporting his favorite persona – the angry Black man. There’s a lot on my mind, which, hopefully, I’ll get around to telling you about.  When I appear as the angry Black man, I tend to be a bit towards the left with my conspiracy theories, but, hey, it is what it is.  I can only be me.

In 1970, The Jackson Five made their debut.  Been under a rock?  They were a Black singing group consisting of five brothers, including the one and only Michael Jackson. Their first song, released in January of that year, was I Want You Back”.  It topped the charts.  Two (2) months later, their second hit was released, “ABC”.  It topped the charts.  In June of that same year, “The Love You Save” was released.  It topped the charts.  With the success that The Jackson Five had, I could do this ad infinitum, but, I won’t. The bottom line is that their music made history.  Over and over again, their music made history.  The group also had a sister named Janet who has been said to have had mild success in the music industry as well.

In 1971, The Osmonds appeared.  Right – you’ve been hiding out.  The Osmonds were a Caucasian singing group.  I should mention that there were five brothers in that group.  Wait – this sounds a bit familiar.  Anyway, their success was heralded as the next big thing since The Jackson Five.  They had a sound that was almost identical to that of The Jackson Five.  Did I mention that they also had a sister by the name of Marie, who gained some musical success, as well?

I’m just sayin’ . . .

In 1983, New Edition appeared on the scene, a Black singing group from Boston.  There were five members in the group, most notably, Bobby Brown.  Their debut album was entitled “Candy Girl”, which immediately soared to the top of the charts.  In 1984, the group released their second LP, self-titled, which produced “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man”.  The LP itself went double-platinum.  By the second half of 1985, New Edition released its third LP, “All For Love”.  It was not as successful as their second, but, it still went platinum.  The group went through various personnel changes, particularly with lead singers.  Although original lead-singer Bobby Brown had left the group, the group flourished nonetheless.  Here we are in 2008 and talks about a New Edition reunion are in the works, including the return of Bobby Brown, as well as a new album.

In 1986, New Kids On The Block made their entry into the music world with their self-titled LP.  They were a Caucasian singing group, with five members, of course.  Their sound was practically a clone of New Edition’s.  Between 1988 and 1989, New Kids On The Block had a string of hits.  By the early 90’s, they released “Step By Step” which was mildly successful, but did not do nearly as well as the group’s prior offerings.  That signaled their downfall.  Somehow, I get the feeling that the similarity between the two groups is just way out of line.

I’m just sayin’ . . .

Whitney Houston blessed us in 1985 with her self-titled debut LP.  It was not an immediate success, but as 1986 rolled around, it produced three (3) number one singles.  The album is Houston’s best, with over thirteen (13) million copies sold to date.  It became one of the best selling LP’s in the industry in the U.S. and worldwide.  It’s one thing to have a “self-titled” LP, but, one should be a bit more imaginative by the time the second LP comes along.  Not so with “Whitney”, which debuted at number one, and sold over nine (9) million copies.  The first four (4) singles all went on to the number one spot.  This brought her total of number one hits to the record-breaking number (at the time) of seven (7) straight.  As with The Jackson Five, listing her accomplishments could go on – ad infinitum, so, suffice it to say that Whitney Houston not only made great music, but great record-breakers as well.  An African-American?  Of course!

In 1990, Mariah Carey entered the scene and blessed us with a self-titled debut album which produced four (4) number one singles.  That same success earned her Grammy awards for Best Female Artist and Best Female Vocalist.  She had a sound that was so close to Whitney Houston’s sound that I often confused the two at the outset of Ms Carey’s debut.  In 1991, Mariah Carey offered up her second LP “Emotions”, the single of which soared to the top of the charts, and the LP produced two (2) other chart-toppers, as well.  Caucasian?  You betcha.

I’m just sayin’ . . .

In all fairness, I should say that the original manager for New Edition was terminated and he is the person who was responsible for the group New Kids On The Block.  As for Mariah Carey, she is of mixed heritage (Caucasian and Afro-Venezualian) but at the time of her debut, was rumored to be simply “Caucasian”.  I often wondered if her marriage to Tommy Mattola hit the skids when she finally came out and said that she was at least “partially Black”.  Hmmmmm.

One can chalk all of this up to extreme coincidence.  Not I.  One can chalk it up to the idea that if there is success with one product, emulate it and come up with another success.  I say “nay”.  One can conclude that if an African-American has some form of success, some Caucasian will find a way to take away that thunder and make it their own.  Bingo!!  That’s the theory that the angry Black man buys.

The Beatles made history by making their young, female fans pass out in droves at the sound of their music.  Michael Jackson made history by making his female fans, both young and old, pass out from just  watching him walk through airports . . . before he even opened his mouth.  I was way past . . . sorry . . . waaaaay past my teens when I sat glued to the tube,  on seat’s edge, awaiting every new music video by The Gloved One.  And I’m not even a female.  They couldn’t produce a solo artist to out-do His Michaelness, so they had to find some other way to take his thunder away.

I’m just sayin’ . . .

copyright ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

Day 6 (racial discrimination 2)

Posted in racial discrimination, social commentary with tags , , , on July 15, 2008 by blackstarr

“Just see if you can Jew him down.”

“Damned Asians!  Y’all can’t drive to save your lives!”

“Look at you, with them Puerto Rican shoes on.”

“They smell like dogs when their hair gets wet.”

Have you ever uttered any of those statements in your lifetime?  If so, did you realize the impact that they carry?  I have often said that while Caucasians may lead the pack when it comes to racism, they certainly hold no monopoly.  Almost all of us, at some point or another, have uttered some type of racial or ethnic slur, many times without even realizing that you have done so.

I try to add a little flava, and a little humor to my posts from time to time, but, the main reason for opening this blog is to help keep racism at bay, to help launch a platform for obliterating it from society in . . . well, someone’s lifetime, and to make everyone aware that racial discrimination is alive and well.  I am often accused of bringing up the issue of race in the course of conversation.  I am guilty as charged.  Unlike so many people that I’ve come across, I have no qualms about bringing up the subject of race.  I see no harm in making folks aware of the FACT that racism still exists.  It seems that it is sometimes very difficult to make others understand the concept of why their attitudes or statements are racist in nature.  I need no primers in the subject matter as racial discrimination is a part of my life, almost on a daily basis.

The first step that I take in explaining that a person’s words or deeds are racist in nature, is to try to get them to understand that there are two parts to racism:  the person practicing racism and the person who is at the brunt of the racist remarks or actions.  It is usually the one practicing the racism who has the most difficult time grasping the notion of racism.  For example, if a Caucasian has not been  a victim of racial discrimination in their lifetime, they will rarely understand why you take offense to something that was said or done.  It’s relatively close to the difference  in learning by the wisdom of others and learning by experience.  One can conceptually grasp an idea presented by another, but, will not necessarily get the full meaning of it unless they have actually experienced that concept in action.  Racial discrimination can be easily placed in the same category.

The tenets of racial discrimination can be either subtle, blatant, or both.  Those that are blatant are very easy to deal with.  They are usually as plain as the nose on one’s face.  We normally come across it when it is being used by someone who is all too aware of what they are saying or doing, and, more often than not, don’t really care.  It is the subtle form that gives us the most difficult time in both recognizing it and correcting it.  The examples that I gave at the very beginning of this post are some of the subtle forms of racism and racial discrimination.  They are subtle mostly because they are not usually directed towards a particular person, have been picked up by hearing it from family and community members, and are most likely used without even realizing the error of their ways.  Subtlety can often be determined by the intention, with ill-will not being a part of that intent.

To obliterate racism and racial discrimination one can start anywhere.  The important thing is to . . . start.  Since we are always in our own backyard, why not start there?  Let us take a closer look at the things that we say and do.  Let us be conscious of the impact that words and deeds can have on others and upon ourselves.  A wise man said that ignorance is bliss.  A wiser man said that ignorance is no excuse for bad behavior.  If we recognize that our words and actions are harmful, we can monitor them.  By monitoring them, we can weed that behavior from our daily routine, eventually obliterating it from our lives altogether.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

Day 5 – the (ir)responsible press

Posted in political commentary, politics, racial discrimination, social commentary with tags , , , , , on July 14, 2008 by blackstarr

I took extreme offense to the cover of Vogue, which showed LeBron James alongside model Gisele Bundchen.  The picture, to me, immediately brought to mind King Kong and Fay Wray.  It brought to mind the very picture that America likes to portray when it comes to African-American males:  a monster of a being who endangers the lives of white women.  I considered it an insult.  Most of the brothers who chimed in on the discussion at the time, also saw it as offensive, and the same image came to mind.  Only one or two sisters agreed, but, for the most part, they seemed to think there was no discriminatory undertones about it.  That debate raged on for quite a while, and, as with a lot of debates in cyberspace, ended with “agreeing to disagree”.  I was pleased enough that one female was persuaded to change her views after having heard the reasons that the brothers gave. Along comes the July 21st issue of THE NEW YORKER.  It’s entitled “The Politics Of Fear”, and is said to be a simple lampooning of today’s political scene and Obama’s right-wing critics.  The cover (shown here) is about as tasteless as one can get.  It’s one thing to attempt a bit of humor and satire,  but, I believe that this goes overboard.

There is a segment of the population in America that is deathly afraid of Black Americana.  Now that one of us is up for the presidency, hate-mongering imagery is the last thing we need in the struggle to not only gain the votes of those who have not made a decision, but to keep the votes that are already promised.  If there is doubt still in the minds of some of white America, this cover may help see to it that they make up their minds quickly – and run with wing-ed feet to the McCain camp.

Obama spokesperson Bill Burton was given the following explanation by a New Yorker staffer: “The cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Sen. Obama’s left-wing critics have tried to create”.  If there was previously any failure of the left-wingers to create that image, then, The New Yorker’s cover will see to it that just such an image will get out to the American public.  Of that population who fears Black Americana, there are those who truly believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim.  After all, the press said so.  There are those say that His wife, Michelle, is unpatriotic.  Note the flag burning in the fireplace.  Note the picture of Osama Bin Laden hanging on the wall.  The media is gospel.  If the media alleges that Sen. Obama and wife are anti-American, then it must be so.  If the media implies that they are both a threat to the American way of life, then, by all means, it must be so.  This is irresponsible “journalism” at its very best, and as you can see, I am hard-pressed to call it journalism.

At the time this post was being made, Sen. Obama had not issued a statement in either direction.  If you know me at all, you now that he has been my choice for president since the early days of his campaign.  That being so, it still irritates me that Mr. Obama always remains so cool, calm, and collected.  I am waiting for him to fly off the handle and give some one an old-fashioned cussin’ out.  In fact, I’m waiting for that day when Obama threatens to whoop some a$$.  Although that might be nice, we know he’s got way too much class for that.

The spin doctors from both sides of the fence will perform their magic and it will all blow over until the next derogatory item comes this way.  Obama will weather the storm as he always has.  THE NEW YORKER will sell more copies than the law allows.  Obama’s diehard followers will declare that it will not hurt him in the end.  I’m one of those diehard followers, but, I’m not so certain that it will do no damage.  I believe that there are people who truly believe that if the media prints it, films it, or records it, then . . . it must be so.

No one gets a pass in my house, not even THE NEW YORKER.  If this keeps up, there won’t be a decent enough rag left in America for me to read.  It pains me more that THE NEW YORKER knows just what it is capable of producing: irresponsible “journalism”.  freedom is out.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com