Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How old school Facebook gave birth to Civil Rights

     Its strange to think of a Facebook of the 40's, but in lots of ways it existed. Like most things of that era it started as a Military tool, which inadvertently worked to help Black America. During WWII the Japanese program titled "Negro Propaganda Operations" used short wave radios to broadcast to any African Americans within earshot across the Country. They used Japanese broadcasters, and Black POW's, to tell the story of the treatment of Blacks in the Military, of lynchings, and other race related injustices across the U.S.. The POW's in exchange were given the opportunity to give their names, to let loved ones know they were still alive.
     The point wasn't to shine a light on the plight of Blacks in America, but to create major racial turmoil in the States and hinder us from fighting effectively in the war. Americas Military recognized the strategy, and since the broadcasts were rooted in so much truth, the potential for unrest was very real. Even though, most blacks didn't own short wave radios at the time, the word still spread. As a result the U.S. Government improved Military conditions for black troops while enlisted. Some believe this to be the first steps toward some sort of Civil Rights. Before the change, German prisoners were treated better than Black Military Officers. After, even Black civilians were given the opportunity to work decent war time jobs in factories and shipyards.
     So there it is, Social Media cart & buggy style. Desired effect or not. Information that was being spread from half a world away carried a message that was strong enough to initiate change. It's that time again. Time to use the ability to communicate in mass numbers to enact change. Facebook should be our village drumbeat, informing the tribe of impending danger, our negro spiritual to let us know whats going on on the other side of the field. Communication has always been the key to effective action. We will use this tool to take back our Political and Economic power. To take the first step toward controlling our collective futures. We can't continue to wait for events to react to, we are the catalysts. We will unite. Remember no McDonalds in October...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Go Black Mr. White: Why the UFC needs more black Ads

     When advertisers specifically target black audiences with some product, openly looking to garner support from that community, two things are bound to happen. 1 People are going to question the ethics of ethnic ad targeting, and 2 the community sees the ad, and chooses for themselves if they want to buy said product or not. I think the UFC is missing the boat on this one. This Jon "Bones" Jones fight vs. Rashad Evans, could be the best thing blaxsploitation advertising ever created.
     Listen to this set up. An epic saga between two athletes, training partners for two years, teammates, friends. Jones the new champion and regarded as potentially the best ever, and Evans the former champion and seasoned veteran, TV star, and budding celebrity. While teammates, the new guy Jones renewed Evans' passion for the sport. Evans helps Jones to learn to deal with his new found success, and how to remain focused through it. Although they agreed never to fight each other, Jones publicly entertained a question about a hypothetical fight between the two. Evans feeling disrespected leaves the team, and starts his own team on the other side of the country. Evans, now looks to defeat his old team, old trainers, and his one time brother. Classic Right?
     Bones Jones. 24year old religious good guy, goal setter, and ferociously committed to his craft. From a family of athletes, and a sister whose story would leave no eye dry. Evans, the flashy Former champion one of the most recognizable fighters in the sport, and one of the most dangerous. Also on a winning streak. Both are great fighters at the top of their games. You couldn't make this stuff up.  This story line has everything, friendship, jealousy,betrayal, tragedy, and placed in front of the right eyes, these guys could, and should become household names. People should know Jon Jones on sight. This guy represents all that is good in sports, and what we want our athletes to be. In the age of the you pay to see me, so I must be great athlete. Promoting Jones more would be a welcomed change.
      So more money for Dana White, and the introduction of a good guy black athlete, from a newer sport who might just be one of the baddest men on the planet. So Mr.White please, a few blaxploitation ads in this direction would be a good thing. Force the Bones Jones community to know your new star. I guarantee the long term reward will be worth more than the short term criticism.

Monday, April 16, 2012

No McDonalds in October !

      With the justice system beginning to take course in the Treyvon Martin murder case, now what. It seems unrealistic to think the level of outrage and media coverage will remain this supportive when addressing simularly controversial stories that inspire racial debates. We as a people can still use the tidal wave of energy caused by this Treyvon Martin Tragedy. He should be our Khalid Said, he was the young man who died mysteriously in the custody of Egyptian police. Mysterious until the photos were released. The outrage expressed through social media started the Egyptian revolution of 2011, it will be seen as the historic first step towards freedom in the future.
     Nobody is calling for a physical revolution, but it is time to take our power back or at least begin taking the steps. The plan remains the same, using the megaphone that is social media blacks should spread the word to not eat at McDonalds for one month, six months from now in October. Not to hurt McDonalds, (who makes 5.2 billion per yr. from blacks that's 433 million per month from our community or 18% of total profits), but to make a statement as a people or voting block that we can remain solid and support our interests.
     We then use the Collective 433 million dollars of McDonalds money to invest in positive local entities black businesses or otherwise. If the Government dedicated 433 million dollars totally to miniority interests it wouldn't solve all problems but it would be historic none the less. Its a small price to pay. Its not sacrificing all fast food just one company. So spread the word No McDonalds in October Spread the word.
     Make no mistake, there probably won't be a way to measure the way the money changes a given community. The actual point is showing that as a group we can act collectively ,to mold our future.  This is the natural progression, to work together with sit ins and marches, to show our strength as a unit. In America the legitimacy of a group is defined by the strength of its block, voting or economic. A unified mass exodus of a given block in either of these two instances garners courtship, thus the block is taken more seriously and treated with respect. But how in the black community, arguably the most fractured block in America do we take our voice back. This isn't designed to topple McDonalds, or change the diets of black people. Its only to highlight small sacrifices we all need to make to get the wheels of change turning again. Without sacrifice change is hard to come by in any circumstance, and no McDonalds for a month would definitely be a small sacrifice in relation to the statement it sends. This might not change perception overnight, but it would mold our reality, back into the form of a people with power, and a united voice, with a realistic chance to respectfully navigate our own course, as we all effectively become the new leaders of our own community. We use Social Media for everything else, why not this.

  Here's a cool list of  blk spending habits.


  Nothing Personal McDonalds.

To Tithe or not to Tithe: That is the question?

     In the age of instant globally distributed information, and all we hear of corruption by religious institutions. I wonder if tithing to the Church as important as giving to the least of our brothers and sisters, or would Jesus rather you give to the institution of the Church. With collections going to pay Pastors salary, and not just supporting the building fund any more, do you really know where your money is going. Is there absolute transparency.
      If Catholic parishioners money is going to legal defense funds, or settlements to victimized followers. Do you think that really is the best way for your offering to be distributed?  If the Catholic Church protects pedophiles with your money. Is that any different than anyone in society harboring a fugitive pedophile in their basement, keeping them warm and safe, free from legal prosecution? Should your money really go to fueling Eddie Long's private jet, or pay his settlements? Should old Mother Robinson's offering pay for the First Lady's vast collection of Sunday whites, with hats to match? Then they say, the good Lord's come as you are rules apply to everyone else in the congregation, tube socks and all.
       Is that what you were taught your Jesus envisioned for his flock? This absolutely doesn't apply to all churches, but the influx of stories are enough to generate some healthy skepticism. So the next time Pastor helps you pop your clutch after Sunday service, then glides past you in his new Benz, look down at your WWJD bracelet or bumper sticker and ask your self. What would he do? You helped buy that car. Jesus rode a donkey, and even with inflation thrown in, a donkey doesn't translate to a Benz nowadays, at best its a Truck or one of those big Church Vans or something.
     What about that whole camel through a needle eye thing, what was that Mat.19:24. Now Pastor might not be rich, but wealth is relative to who its compared to. Jesus was about acts, lessons and time spent, not the sum total of his generosity through golden coins. Go ahead and anoint pastor as your king, and I'm sure through some miraculous act that will compel God to leave you a spot at his side. That's how Jesus would do it. Right?  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Olympic play for pay : We made you great for free already.

     So D. Wade and Ray Allen think Olympic athletes should be paid for their services, I couldn't agree more. Whenever a millionaire black says anything about compensation, the stigma of the ungrateful greedy black male athlete rises up right on cue. Even when arguing with billionaire owners, the players who generate the money are the ones whom it is perceived are letting their greed cause the games disruptions, and cheating the fans. So NBA Olympians are greedy, I'm pretty sure they don't get a percentage of jersey sales or any cut of NBC ad revenue. But critics will say they should do it for the love of country, for deep rooted patriotism, for the good ol USofA.
     But those same people forget Jesse Owens 4 gold medals in the '36 Olympics didn't protect him from potential lynching, and definitely sent a political message to Hitler and his theory of Aryan dominance. What about Ali 24 years later coming back home to America after winning Olympic gold, and not being treated like a man let alone an Olympic hero. Wearing proudly across his chest the name of the country that routinely beat, humiliated, dehumanized, and killed his people while he  fought for American excellence. Thus his medal was thrown into the Ohio river. 8 years later Tommy Smith and John Carlos, on the track and field winners platform, donned one black glove each from the same pair to make a statement against human rights violations, I wear a shirt with the famous photo from '68 and I still get negative looks 40 years later. Imagine what they went through. Tommy Smith said it best "If I won I'm an American, if I do something deemed bad I'm just a negro, Black America will understand what we did tonight".
     That's only three cases of black athletes showing patriotism above and beyond the level of treatment they received from their home nation. Yet some are still seen in some circles as, arrogant self centered trouble makers, and in one case a draft dodger. Aside from testing ones skills against the rest of the world I don't even see the benefit of Olympic competition from the professional athletes perspective. The sports talking heads say players like Wade and Allen should be proud to have USA across their heart, and anything less is spitting in Lady Liberty's face. Generally black sports talk guys swing the conversation back to the money which perpetuates the greedy argument, not that its wrong, but its the jab. The Right Cross is the level of patriotic sacrifice made by black Olympic athletes over time, in the face of inhumane conditions at home.
     So yes, all USA Olympians should be paid, amateur or not. These athletes are labeled as the best of the best, and in no other forum do amateurs in any field reign supreme. Swimmers, track and field, archers and gymnasts need funding, if NBC and the USOC gets paid, why not the people who make it possible to generate the revenue in the first place. They say NBA players benefit through a rise in popularity at home through Olympic play. I think Christian Laettner and Clyde the Glides USA basketball jersey sales tell a different story. Its a tough position to be in, if players don't play for the USA for reasons of fairness, the media will label them unpatriotic and say its all about the money.  Also if this isn't fair, what was all of the problems ALI and Jesse Owens went through, is there a name for something lower than unfair? This is a stand for something moment, Our Olympic heroes made the stand in the past, now today's guys cant let them down, and fall for anything.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Race Riots, Black Wealth, and the GAP Band

     Anybody ever wondered what the gap in GAP Band stood for? Definitely not me, but the reason is so intense that it will change your view of them, and of the history of modern America forever. Allow your eyes to be opened by the depth of the GAP Band. Greenwood Ave., Archer and Pine St. the g,a,and p, respectively, three streets in Tulsa OK. home of the band, also home of  collectively two of the best and worst of what America has to offer, the latter being the worst atrocity committed by American citizens on American citizens ever. Black Wall St.( not the record label) the real BWS, 1921 Oklahoma a community of black doctors, lawyers, veterans, farmers, and small business owners working to build their community from within. At the time, Oklahoma was supposed to be a Black, and Indian state, its citizens even elected a black Governor who the Klan vowed to kill within 48 hrs. if he took office.
     The community was so tightly knit because money was traded hand to hand due to Jim Crow laws, little Africa, as it was called had many black millionaires due to oil on many properties, even when Indians married Blacks their families were given 40 acres and a mule, and whatever oil was found on their land. Oklahoma only had 2 airports in 1921 and 6 blacks owned their own planes. It was proof of successful black business structure where nepotism was key, and a dollar could circulate through the community for almost a year, and now a dollar leaves in about 15 minutes. So where'd it all go? My grandmother was alive already and I never heard  about this. By now we know It all ends the same. It always does.
     May 31, 1921 Dick Rowland shoe shiner, in danger of being lynched for the accusation of attempted rape of a white elevator operator. Black WW1 vets (welcomed home as heroes) there to protect Rowland, were threatened for bearing arms, and violence ensued, and in the end a white man lay dead shot by a black soldier. What followed the next day was nothing short of amazing. With the white residences of the surrounding communities lined up on the borders of Black Wall St. the Klan came in and burned the town down and hunted the black citizens. Roughly 3000 blacks died that day, along with 600 successful  businesses, and 21 churches. 21 restaurants, 2 airplanes, a bus system, hospitals, a bank, schools and a library. Not to mention 1500 homes. The Klan even dropped flaming gas cans from planes to bomb the people from above. 
     In 1997 the Tulsa Race Riot commission was formed to see if anything would be paid to the roughly 100 survivors. There was no insurance paid, or help from local or Federal Government agencies. Reparations were recommended, but the report states that only 300 were killed. Many bodies were thrown into rivers, down mine shafts, and buried in mass graves. Researchers using GPR (ground penetrating radar) found a mass grave outside of a cemetery that contained hundreds of bodies. Remember this is 1921 there are pictures of these riots, labeled with context look them up sometimes. I would paste them in but I'm going to see if I can learn anything else from the GAP Band.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Would lowering NFL bounty fines send a negative message to players

    Bounty Gate is the biggest thing to hit  professional sports in a long time. Fines have been handed out, and now some involved are looking to have their fines reduced through appeals. The NFL had to set these fines high to send a statement to its players,to confirm that they weren't the only ones being held to new higher standards. Uncharacteristically high fines were leveled against many players in the past year, most notably James Harrison, 125,000 total last year, and teammate Ryan Clark 55,000 also, Chicago Bear Brandon Meriweather 85,000 over the past two seasons. Many skeptical about the rule changes made in order to protect player health point to the leagues lack of compassion towards retired players and their lifetime of football related health issues.
     With the leagues crackdown on end zone celebrations, and non structured self expression. Many wonder about leagues with majority black players, and non black league Commissioners, like Bryant Gumball said speaking of NBA commissioner David Stern, "Among other things his moves were intended to do little more than show he's keeping the hired hands in their place." With dress codes, and facial expression technical fouls I see where he's coming from. Who would have thought Gumball would take the hard stand.
     With player safety as its new focus allowing these coaches and management to appeal their fines is within the rules, but actually allowing the fines to be lowered would be a slap in the face, not only to the players targeted by name and body part to be injured, but also to the player over fined for not conforming to the new rules to the game. Some hits being legal just a year earlier. I'm never one for taking food off of another man's table, but in this instance its just a case of keeping the playing field level. Anything else is just another black eye for the league.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The art that is Racial Profiling

     The phenomenon that is racial profiling may be based in fear and prejudice, but it doesn't feel organic. Was there ever some incident where mass crimes were committed by angry mobs of blacks, against whites solely for their soft spoken good natured disposition? Looking to sink our teeth into their gullible, Jesus fearing hearts. Not to my recollection. 
     Here's where the seeds were planted. During slavery, blacks were no threat. Insubordination was severely punished. After slavery, to maintain a flow of cheap labor, laws were enacted, black specific laws. Things like, no farmer could sell his crops after dark, punishable by law, or if you couldn't prove you had a job, you go to jail,  creating a new prison workforce and saving the tobacco and textile industries. The high number of black arrests combined with the lack of white arrests, for crimes against blacks, gave birth to the idea that blacks were not ready for freedom and were inherent criminals. These purposely force fed ideas, by Government to the people, to justify the treatment of blacks, became what defined  newly freed blacks in America. And gave birth to segregation, and modern discrimination, prejudice and racial profiling.
     The fact that this hasn't been addressed by a figure of white authority, on a national platform, gives some sense of legitimacy to an antiquated idea that's been passed down for two generations, adapting and evolving, it can be killed but that doesn't seem to be part of the plan.