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Imitation Of Life

Posted in political commentary, politics, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

gary-d-01I love TV crime dramas, but, I usually stop watching them after some time, as they become so “formulaic”, so to speak.  One such show is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, on CBS.  Like most of the other dramas that I watch/watched, I like the interaction of the characters more than anything else.  One of my favorite characters from the show was Warrick Brown, played by Gary Dourdan (check his official site).  Art truly does, at times, imitate life.  Ironically, one episode was actually entitled “Art Imitates Life”.  To further illustrate the fact, in the end, the character Warrick Brown imitated the recent life of actor Gary Dourdan, plagued by drug use.  His real-life antics got him canned from the show.  I had stopped watching the show for quite some time before Mr. Dourdan left the show, but, I made a hasty retreat when I read of his arrest in the news, and waited with bated breath for his last appearance on the show.  It ended as expected, but, there was such finality to the episode:  his character can never return as a regular.

There is a more prominent, more important aspect of art imitating life, and that was made evident with a more recent episode entitled “Say Uncle”.  Another character on the show, Nick Stokes (played by George Eads), was tracking down a lead and he and another CSI entered the home of an elderly Korean woman.  The woman got hysterical and began spewing the Korean language at the top of her lungs.  She eventually pulled out a gun and began pointing it at Stokes.  Stokes turned to look at her and asked in his most calming voice “Now, why you wanna do that?  Put that thing away.” Another CSI is anxious that the woman is going to shoot Stokes, but, Stokes calmly talks the woman into dropping the gun and they all live happily ever after.

That’s one prime example of art imitating life.  So many times, real-life officers are faced with immenent danger, i.e. the perp in question is weilding a gun, or a bat, or a knife.  The officers will speak in a nice, soothing voice, appealing to the “inner”, good person and, in the end, they all live happily ever after.  That is to say as long as the perp is not African-American.

Across the nation, so many African-Americans have been gunned down by the police.  Like other criminals throughout the nation, many had weapons and alledgedly posed a threat to officers and others.  Many times the weapons in question were guns.  However, more times than not, the weapons in question were baseball bats, and knives, and in a large number of cases, the human fist.  Can a gun-carrying officer really feel THAT threatened that they feel the need to fire a bullet into a suspect to subdue him/her?  In so many cases, the suspect dies.  A cold-blooded death.  Murder.

Why can’t African-Americans be “talked down”?  Where is our happy ending?  When will it stop?

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Check out BIKO by Peter Gabriel

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Old School Flava: 8/29/08

Posted in humor, Old School Flava, social commentary with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

Quiz time.  Did you pay attention?  If not, you’re probably jumpin’ up and down cryin’ “It’s not Wednesday!  Why, oh why, is he doing Old School Flava on a Friday??!!”  Freedom has no schedule, no rhyme, and no reason.  He just does what he does when he does it.  So, on this last Friday of August, allow me to entertain you with more phrases that my Moms has laid on me through the years.


It’s a huge mistake to walk into my mother’s kitchen while she’s cooking.  Her first words are “Get outta my kitchen!”  After you ignore those words and continue to try and catch a glimpse of what’s in the pots, she tosses a wet dishrag at you and repeats herself.  Finally, when you can’t determine what’s cookin’, you ask.  Her reply?  “Daddy’s old britches”.  That means that she has peeked into the refrig and gathered up whatever has been left from the previous few nights and came up with one of her creations.  It basically means olio, stew, soup – anything that does not require starting from scratch.  There’s an underlying statement there, as well:  “None of your business!” Now, you casually stroll outta her kitchen, no wiser than the moment that you ventured in, moments of time that will never be retrieved.


Ever try to help someone out and end up causing more confusion than anything else?  I’m the kind of person that just hates it when someone says “You could probably . . . “ I don’t take too kindly to advice unless it is solicited.  Give me a job, back off, and let me do it.  If I need assistance, I’ll ask for it.  Otherwise, let me do what it is that you asked me to do.  Moms has an answer for that one:  “Don’t help me, help the bear”. That means “I don’t need your help, thank you”.  Now, I have no idea why the bear needs help, or why I should help him at all, but, I guess it is what it is.

Sometimes, things are just “over the top”.  I mean, plain old you-done-outdone-yourself-this-time over the top.  This particular phrase usually refers to food or beverages, but, can also be used for fashion, hairdo’s and just about everything, but, is meant specifically for food and beverages: “It’s enough to make you wanna smack your mammy down!”.  That’s definitely “mammy”, as “mommy” just won’t work here.  The statement exudes sassiness.  It alludes to the idea that something has got to be awfully good in order to make you slap your mother.  Even more so to make you wanna slap her down.

I’ll be back with lots more “down home” phrases that my Moms has laid on me.  It’s called “Old School Flava”, and it could be on a Wednesday, it could be on  Sunday, it could be on any day of the week that catches my fancy.  That’s not a bad thing, though. Just think about it: if I said it was gonna be a a particular day every week and you came back on that day and it wasn’t here, you’d be real upset with freedom.  We wouldn’t want that, now would we?  See you next time.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

A Rose By Any Other Name . . .

Posted in humor, just for the bull of it, social commentary with tags , , , , on August 27, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

I’ve been called many names throughout my illustrious life, most of which were well-deserved.  I’m not mad about it, not in the least, as I’ve hurled a few myself at others.  Worst than the names that I’ve been called, are the names that I have heard that were actually given to children by their parents.  I wanna tell you that it isn’t a pretty picture.  “Shaqwanda“, “Lometra“, and “Aquanetta” have all become rather tame by now.  Those names that are close in nature to them are bad enough, but, there are others that are even worse.  No doubt, you’ve probably heard them yourself and shook your head upon their utterance.  It’s enough to make you choke, I tell ya.  “A Boy Named Sue”?  Ha!  Be grateful.

For me, it all started, I think, with Jamal, Malik, and Marquis.  It was a time when it was important (for some unknown reason) for mothers to mark their children with some Islamic-sounding name in honor of their children’s daddies who were away on vacation (i.e. doing jail time).  If I think very deeply, which I am in no frame of mind to do, I could probably come up with at least ten real-life people that I have encountered in my realm of life with those names.  As it turns out, most of the daddies have been in jail for a longer period of time than those children were on earth (i.e. mama’s baby, daddy’s maybe).  Some families that I know of have children with all three of those names, and, as is usually the case, neither of them having the same father.

I am always amazed when watching football on Saturday or Sunday at the names that appear on the telly out of the clear blue sky.  To all of the networks – gives us a warning when you’re going to display such mind-shattering info.   The most recent names that had me in awe were DeShawn and DeAndre.  But, please, STOP THE PRESS!!  Playing for Baylor’s football team is LeQuantum McDonald!!!!  Back in 1987, some parent had the audacity and unmitigated foolishness to name her son LaQuantum!!!  WTF???!!!  I hereby declare that your name-giving privileges are revoked – permanently!  Don’t you EVER put another moniker on another child.

Please . . . sit down.  Really . . . sit down please.  There is or was a player at Auburn University whose first name is (drumroll please) . . . Tez!!  I’m serious, man!  His name is Tez, as in T-E-Z!  I know you think that’s a pretty bad name but you ain’t heard nothin’ yet!  His last name is Doolittle!!  You knew you had a f*cked up name to begin with and you went and named him TEZ!!!???  We all know that mothers get the utmost respect, no matter what the case may be.  But I’m sorry.  Dude, I personally give you permission to go home and slap the livin’ sh*t out that woman!!  Has she lost her mind?!  I don’t care who in your heritage had that name and wanted to be remembered, but, lady, you had no right to lay that kind of punishment on your child.  As with LaQuantum’s Mom, I hereby FORBID you to name another child.  If you even think about it, you will be arrested on the spot.

Here are a few who get (dis)honorable mention: Knowshon Moreno (Georgia), Co-Eric Riley (Mississippi State), Sen’Derrick Marks (Auburn U.), and Sa’Coby Carter (Middle Tennessee State).

I’ve seen quite a few in my life, and, no doubt, so have you.  If you happen to be one of those, with one of those God-awful names, then, I sincerely apologize.  Oh, not for teasing you about your name – I’m sorry that you were unfortunate enough to receive one.  Don’t act surprised.  You know that here at The Realm Of Darkness NOBODY gets a pass – not even you.

I’d say see you soon, but, don’t count on it, as I’ll probably be incarcerated.  As soon as I finish this piece, I’m hopping in the old ride, headed for Staten Island in search of Ms Karen Harris.  If I don’t find her, I’m headed for Lawrenceville, GA, in search of Mr. Michael Vassell.  Either way, one of them is about to feel my wrath.  They are the parents of one I-Perfection Harris!!!!!!  The I, supposedly, stand for “Immaculate“.  Actually, I think I’ll just go after both of them, because they actually have another son whom they named SUPREME JUSTICE !!!!!!!!!  See you went I’m released.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

The Usual Suspect: an unarmed person of color

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