Thursday, November 29, 2007

Learning While White


New York is trying a set of controversial measures to reduce
the number of F-A-M-A-L-I-E-S in poverty.

Bloomberg is going to reward families with cash for opening
savings accounts,
saving a portion of their incomes,
making sure that their children are attending medical appointments
and for attending their children's PTA meetings.

Don't look at me LIKE THAT. I SAID it was controversial.

The money, at least in the beginning will be privately raised,
not tax dollars.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today in Brooklyn that the city was moving ahead with a bold anti-poverty experiment that will use private donations to pay 2,500 families $25 to $300 for meeting various targets — better school attendance, higher test scores — up to a total of $5,000 a year.
People WERE still B*tching about tax dollars being used.

This is, in effect, using citizens’ tax dollars to bribe other citizens into being good citizens. It sounds ok on paper, but NYC is not a business, it’s a community. Where do you draw the line with such a concept? Do you pay troubled youths not to commit crime? Do you pay drug dealers to sell Snickers bars on the street corner instead of drugs? What’s in it for those of us who just work hard, pay our taxes and want a better life for our children? Oh wait, that’s what we are expected to do, so there’s no money in it for us.

— Posted by Scott

The most recent news related to the project has been the
idea of giving low income kids cellphones and minutes to
rewarding them for doing well in school.

You should have seen the comments section.


What are we going to do, give them a car next?
Blar, Blar, f*cking Blar.

So I have been sitting on this article for a couple of weeks now
until I saw ANOTHER ARTICLE ON White middle class parents
and how their CHILDREN EARN internet time by practicing
piano, completing homework,etc.

When the children want to use their allowance, though, they don’t go to the mall. They turn on the family’s computer or television because there’s a parallel economy in place at the Sherman home, with a currency most often known as “screen time.”

Screen time can be spent playing computer games, watching TV or movies or, for older children, visiting social networking sites like MySpace or instant messaging with friends. This new currency, used in a growing number of households, works as an allowance because screen time is highly valued by children and teenagers, and usually restricted by parents.

All I could think was ain't this a b*tch. Where are the outraged
reader comments NOW?

I guess lil Black/Brown children are not suppose to be motivated
by incentives. LOL.


Why is there more acceptance for Learning While White?

Why did the commenter STILL think that TAX dollars were being used?

Would you do your homework and try to get better grades if it meant free minutes?

Sh*t I WOULD DO YOUR homework for free cell minutes. LOL.
My cell
bill be higher than a giraffe's ass.


When Black Men Break Up


You find hip hop in the oddest places. Perusing NY MAG I came across
interview with one of Jay's old school homies, De-Haven Irby.

Jay has a his share of public falling outs recently.

First Jaz.

Then Dame.

Then Lance.


Now De-Haven.

Now, you and I know that we fall out with our friends.
Thats natural, it happens, you move on, you get older,
life changes.

But what makes this story interesting is the same thing that made
YeYe's Big Brother interesting. Jay is personal in his albums to the extent that
he wants to be. But, for the most part, he keeps his personal life,
hood relations etc, out the media.

So, when people beef with him publicly it gives us and eye into
the intricacies of his relationship, and into Jay on gp.

And the fact that these are BLACK men that we are talking
about adds another layer as well.

I read the following paragraph and totally felt De-Haven. I remember
f*cking with TL and it being all good, just uber chemistry. We had an
exchange that at the time seemed benign BUT from then out out
everything flat lined. There was a part of me that wanted to know
WHAT HAPPENED at least for a good three weeks after. I mean,
ya'll read the blog, I spoke on it in March. So here is De-Haven's words,

When did the two of you have a falling-out?
We never really had a falling-out, that’s the problem. This is why I’m so confused. There was no argument, there was none of that. I don’t want an apology [from him], I want a reason. What happened? When my case [a federal drug-conspiracy charge] came in 1998, I never seen him again too much anymore. The case had nothing to do with him, his name never came up, so I’d like to ask him, “What happened?” Where did his departure come from?
De-Haven has actually polly'd with Jaz on J, saying,
One of Jay’s former collaborators Jaz-O also has beef with Jay, and former drug dealer Calvin Klein also accuses Jay of appropriating his story.
Me and Jaz sat down and had a long talk not too long ago. Jaz has a right to have a beef. Jaz was there in the beginning. Jaz took him away from the projects and put him in the studio first. Big Daddy Kane had a lot to do with his career too, and he’s not showing no kinda love to him neither. With Klein, if Jay told him he “got him,” then Klein got a right to be mad.
I was surprised when J actually MENTIONED him on American Gangster.
“Fuck De-Haven for cavin’, that's why we don't speak,” he raps. “Made men ain't supposed to make statements. End of the story, I followed the code, cracked the safe. Other niggas ain't in the game so they practice hate. Leave that boy Hov alone, why don't ya.”
Does Jay really owe this dude cake, EVEN IF JAY lifted his stories?

Does Jay exaggerate his drug-dealing in his songs?
I’m telling you he overexaggerates. He was there to see things, but doing some big-time Frank Lucas–type thing? No. He nickled and dimed, but nothing on a major scale. He definitely didn’t sell nothin’ in Marcy. Spanish Jose, who he mentions a lot [in his songs], was a friend of mine. Jay didn’t have no affiliation to Spanish Jose.

You’re saying Jay appropriated your story?
He says it himself. He’s been talking about me since day one, on a lot of his albums. He mentioned me on The Black Album, and I hadn’t seen him in years.

I mean, it was ultimately his creation. Jay put in the work and made it happen.

And even if De-Haven gave J "source material" how do you go about
compensating someone for that?


As an emcee, how many of the people, from you old block deserve to
eat with you?

What is the criteria for cutting someone off?


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There is Something about Philly


When your folks, Barry Michael Cooper, (I see you hustlin'),
sent me this video of Philly Swain, I thought.

Ummm. Perfect for my Philly post.

Between the Constitution, the Murders, Freeway and
the Liberty Bell, there is
something about Philly.

Philly has a had 400 murders in 2006.

This year they have had

OG, speaks on the young bucks,
So far this year, more than 315 people have been killed, a pace of well over a murder a day, police said. That’s a higher rate, according to FBI statistics, than much larger cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

But Philadelphia’s situation is different today from years past in that more and more of the killers are teenagers, according to the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office.

“They just shoot at anything and everybody, without even looking,” said Shawn Banks, a former drug dealer and gang member. Now in his 30s, he said the new generation that rules the streets is made up of kids who shoot first and never consider the consequences.

And they are murking popo out there.
Cassidy, 54, was one of three Philadelphia law enforcement officers shot in four days. The other two officers survived, but the crimes' brazenness shocked this city. A suspect in Cassidy's death was arrested in Miami on Tuesday.

Even tho' there has been much written about the murders little has
been written about the thousand's of Black men who got together for the
purposes of organizing the community against the murders that
are taking place in the hood.

Most notable about those present to informally address the gathering crowd was a proactive do-it-yourself approach to the rehabilitation of black communities. Peace Ombudsman Edgar Lee age 78 of West Philadelphia was representative, handing out flyers for the New World Development Corp. which encourages "Grass roots neighborhood responsibility and problem solving" through block meetings with young people.
The element of self sufficiency to the event reminded me of the
Million Man March, for Philly.

It almost seems like Black people need to come together
publicly, THEN proceed to get organized.

And quite honestly if there is follow through, which we are in fact
challenged in that area.
Nothing raised the energy in the crowd more than Bruce Crawley's economics lecture on opportunity, inequality, and the importance of supporting the black community by shopping at black owned businesses and developing a black economy. He also addressed how a shift in hiring practices could make it easier for ex-convicts to reenter the workforce. Clearly the crowd was interested in work. The potential could really be felt in the air. It's also the movement's response to both sets of money questions. How do they fund the project? According to Collins' rebuttal in the Philly Daily News, "The finances are evolving from private donations at present," and as long as people are wiling to donate their time, the needs of the project do not overwhelm the combined support of Charlie Mack and company, churches and black organizations, and some help from t-shirt sales. How will they address the root problem of young men who don't see legitimate economic opportunity? This same black community's growth into an increasingly self-sufficient economy; enterprise and employment.
In other Philly news, Freeway just released an album.

As did Jilly.


Why do you think Philly is representative of so many
of the juxtapositions that make America what it is?

Why are there so many murders there?

Deep music history, found fathers connection,
egregious crime rate, fertile ground for emcees?

What is it?


Monday, November 26, 2007

McCain Call's Hillary a B*tch


Well, not outright.

But his support of the statement is implicit in that HE is present and
he doesn't correct her.

And it got caught on camera.

Here is what Andi Zeisler of B*tch Magazine had to say about
when we use the word b*tch to describe a woman,

The other thing about working for a magazine called Bitch is that you really can't cop to being totally sick of having this conversation. But I am. Still, I'll continue to say the same things I always say, partly because talking about the word is an occupational responsibility/hazard and partly because, despite the fatigue, I believe them.

So here goes: Bitch is a word we use culturally to describe any woman who is strong, angry, uncompromising and, often, uninterested in pleasing men. We use the term for a woman on the street who doesn't respond to men's catcalls or smile when they say, "Cheer up, baby, it can't be that bad." We use it for the woman who has a better job than a man and doesn't apologize for it. We use it for the woman who doesn't back down from a confrontation.

Always had a tidbit more respect for McCain than for his cronies,
seeing as HE HAS ACTUALLY been a soldier in a war.

But this just reflects poor judgment and PR.


When was the last time you called a woman a b*tch?

For me its like n*gga. Growing up, I was forbidden to say it.
As it just caused a lot of fights. However I now use it as an adult
playfully, around my "peoples".
I used to think when I was younger that folks that used it were ignorant
and careless. But, then again I also knew people who got shot at for
calling someone a b*tch.

Who do you think it will help raise more money for McCain or

Sean Bell, May 18, 1983–November 25, 2006


Rest in Peace.

It has been a year since he was murdered.

I wonder if the officers have desk jobs?

What would it take to classify the killing of a Black man,
by police officers as murder?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Why Do Mainstream Folks Have so Much Rage Towards Teen Mothers?


When I am reading about how parents are portrayed in the media
I put on my critical lens.

Needless to say, any mention of Black
parents and I have the hawk eye on.

Will Okun's latest blog post has images of Black folks that you
never see in mainstream media.
In fact the shots could have easily been stills from a Juve Video,
or stills from your cousins photo album.

There were also quotes from students stating what they were greatful for.

Real talk. Go get the kleenex.

“We are not out on the streets but in a house under a roof.” – I.D.

“My family is getting together for a celebration and not for a tragedy.” - D.S.

“My Aunt Ethel and my grandmother who have stepped in as my parents after my mother died. These two women are so powerful and have so much wisdom. They are all I have.” - R.B. “I am back in school. It took me a year to realize the streets aren’t everything.” – L.A.
And finally, one of the MOST powerful ones.
“I met my father this year.” T.E.
I was really taken aback by the image of the teenager,
with her
tight turquoise top on, standing diagonal towards the camera,
so as to emphasize her roundess,
face full of pride.

The commenter's were taken aback by her as well.

The tone of your entries make me sad, Mr. Okun.

You silently condone into every community and self-destructive action by these students since you are afraid of seeming racist, judgemental or both.

So you don’t say a word when a young girl gets pregnant. In fact, you posted a picture in this entry of a pregnant girl who couldn’t be more than 15.

Keep tiptoeing around that giant, self-destructive elephant in the room - your idealism is not manifesting itself in any meaningful action. And by idealism, I mean the vague notion you have of saving black folks from themselves.

— Posted by Dale S.

Notice how old boy started of his comment with how HE felt.
You noticed how the comments by the students were joyful, thankful,
reflective and appreciative.

I found this to be interesting because it reminds me of gangster rap
which revolves around the notion of at what point is
depicting something, artistically
condoning and perpetuating it.
And furthermore, WHOSE interests are being served by the mere
of such music, and for that matter THESE PHOTO'S
that are appearing in The Times.

Oh, here is another comment.

Dale S., Will Okun made it clear in an earlier column that he is angry, saddened, and horrified by teenage pregnancy.

— Posted by kaleberg

I can see angry, saddened or even disappointed.

BUT HORRIFIED. Why should someone be HORRIFIED by a
Black Teenager that his pregnant?

Teenagers Black, White, Latino, Asian, have been getting
pregnant since er, forever.

Teenagers have been having sex since forever.
And prior to the recent advent of "The Pill", horrible abortion
killed us, or we dropped out of school, moved to
our aunts house in another state
had our babies, who were
then left to be raised by an aunt, uncle, god mother.


Why the rage towards Black teen mothers?


Saturday, November 24, 2007

If You Are Considering Law School, Think About This.....


The median salary for lawyers is
The graph (shown above) illustrates the distribution of salaries for members of the law school Class of 2006 and is a surprise to many because of its dramatic bimodal peaks. Despite all the publicity about large law firms and their race for talent, the fact is that most new graduates neither take jobs in big firms nor start at salaries that have now reached $160,000 at many large firms. For the Class of 2006, the vast majority of graduates who were employed as of February 15, 2007 (71% of those employed) started work in small firms of 50 or fewer lawyers, or in non-firm settings, such as government, public interest, or business. Just 20% took jobs in firms of more than 100 lawyers.

I had been saving this chart and I knew that it was time to write this post
when I saw the Times article on the perks that lawyers receive at their firms.

In addition, the July bar passage scores were just released last weekend
and my aunt told me that a friend of hers didn't pass.

She missed it by 11 points.

I told her that a disproportionately number of Black and Brown folks
take the bar multiple times before they pass.

In fact, Black folks being an oral people, I mentioned that if the BAR were
an oral exam, 80% of attorneys would be Black.
"If the glove doesn't fit, then you must acquit".
My aunt then asked me why the the Black Lawyers teaching bar classes?

My response was that once folks have made it through the system,
a mindset sets in and they feel that OTHERS should go through
what they went through. That hazing sh*t.

Then I found this article on Black Bar Passage statistics and how
they aren't even available,

In issuing the report, the commission will be weighing in on two fairly heated controversies over affirmative action at law schools: a debate over the bar association’s diversity standards, which first came under attack by groups critical of affirmative action early last year, and a more recent fight by Richard H. Sander, a professor of law at the University of California at Los Angeles, to try to gain access to data from the State Bar of California showing bar-passage rates broken down by racial and ethnic group.
NOW how are we suppose to help a group of people when we don't
have the statistics?

Sounds like a classic case of hide the ball to me.

But. You know WHO does have the power to get the stats?
practicing Black lawyers.

And I commented that some Black People take multiple times
to pass the exam.

Now back to the "perks for lawyers" article.

Now peep game.

Top 20 firms offer 140K starting out, and top it off with bonuses
with the knowledge
that they expect you to burn out.

“Money is not the only thing that drives these lawyers right now,” said Marina Sirras, who runs a recruitment firm in New York for lawyers. “They want to be able to have a family and enjoy their family. This has never been as hot an issue.”

Law firms have been slower than some other businesses to award benefits, in part because of their smaller, and often complex, private structures.

On offer now are concierge services, in which a lawyer can have the equivalent of a personal valet pick up theater and sports tickets, the dry cleaning, take a car to the repair shop or even choose a Halloween costume.

The schools want students to take summer and eventually full time jobs
with these firms because it raises the schools stature.

Once an L-school student receives their summer internship
with a top 50 firm, they are all but guaranteed a job after they graduate
granted they don't curse out a partner at the weekly Tuesday
night happy hour.

There is a mutually beneficial relationship working here.
The firms offer the students the jobs. The schools are happy
because of the placement. Further ensuring that the pipeline for fresh
meat is available next year.

When a first, second or third year lawyer is making $125/hour
and the firm is billing the work out at $400/hour the partners
split the $275/hr amongst themselves.

And don't even get me started on the loss of human capital
that occurs when women leave firms to start/raise families.

Lawyers say the conventional system of charging clients by the hour can make for very long days. Firms often require associates to bill 1,800 to 2,200 hours a year - up to 42 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

Coupled with the time needed for non-billable tasks, that can translate into grueling 10- to 12-hour days, plus weekends.

Gillette said an alternative system could measure performance and set salaries without reference to the number of hours billed, and instead focus on productivity, efficiency and quality of work.

In fact ANY industry that is willing to hemorrhage 10-20% of their employees/
year begs for scrutiny.

But it doesn't surprise me that current structure is resistant to change.

Many Fortune 500's are willing to tolerate their employees
racist behavior and risk a institution killing law suit rather
than monitor and discipline those who display soft bigotry.

When I was a young buck. I believed the hype.
Work hard. Get Cake. F*ck A Old (White) Boys Network.

Now, with the scars and years of experience under my belt I can see
that sh*t coming a mile away.


I learned that the Old Boys Network is the Original Affirmative Action.

I was like hold up.

YOu are sitting up her questioning me, and my credentials, when you
got YOUR JOB because your Daddy is one of the firms biggest clients.

F*ck outta here!


What did you believe the hype about when
you were a young buck?

Did you become more cynical when you learned
the truth?

For the folks that have attended or OPTED not to attend grad school,
what role did you future earning potential play in your decision?


Thursday, November 22, 2007's Gratitude.


Dearest Model Minorities,

Thank you for helping me learn how to unapologetically call myself a writer.

I now declare it with enthusiasm.

Thank you for coming back and making comments.

Thank you for your support throughout the dee dee fiasco and subsequent
move and transition.

Many people are lucky to have just have friends.

Good ones are hard to come by.

I am fortunate to have an online community where we can talk
about Rap, Feminism, Black Political Thought and NY Times articles
ad nauseam and I am greatful.


What do A-Rod, The Clipse and the WGA Have in Common?


They got 99 Problems and a contract is one.
A Rod is now trying to negotiate with the
Yankees sans agent after walking away from the team
a few weeks ago.

Initially he has a $252M/10 year contract.
It appears to be a stipulation is the new agreement that
allows for him to share in the windfall that will occur
when he breaks Bond's record.

I think that sh*t is precedent setting.

Its real easy to hate lawyers man.

But please believe, you find yourself in a pinch,
and you are not getting your proper royalties
1-800- Bert-Fields, real talk.

The Clipse, mis favoritos, major greivance at Jive was
that they were not allowed to purse their solo projects.

Now how in the HELL AFTER WU-TANG, does an emcee
sign a contract that stipulates that?

The members of the WGA are picketing because they want
a piece of revenue from online streaming of TV shows.

I ain't mad.

On the go media is the next frontier. Google phone anyone?

They better stand up now or lay down forever.


Are you angry about the WGA strike?

Any of your shows affected?

Do you think they are being greedy?

Are you currently in a contract that YOU would like
to get out of?



Monday, November 19, 2007

One Hundred Jay-Z's.


I had such problems with Skip Gates piece in The Times about
Black people, poverty and achievement. My rationale is that if
you are talking about us as a people,
and you have limited or
non existent economic analysis
AND limited or non existent
analysis of White Soft Bigotry then you need to go back to the lab.

When I read sh*t like that, I ask myself, "Who are you writing this for?"

I read the following passage and thought, man if I didn't know any
better I would think Negros were shiftless, low down, good for
nothings who just couldn't get it right.

But see. I know better.


The historical basis for the gap between the black middle class and underclass shows that ending discrimination, by itself, would not eradicate black poverty and dysfunction. We also need intervention to promulgate a middle-class ethic of success among the poor, while expanding opportunities for economic betterment.
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Because Negros in the country NEVER had they sh*t together.
Never prospered prior to integration.

HAVE been burned to the ground.

The problem with THIS article and for that matter, Cosby's pieces
we all exist within.

Saggy Pants are being outlawed and rendered illegal.
Popo is using Black men with brushes, q-tips, cell phones
for target practice.
AND, the sentencing commission has finally decided
that there was a problem with the sentencing discrepancy
between crack and coke,

Since 1988, possession of five grams of crack cocaine – an amount equal to five packets of sugar substitute – landed a person in jail for five years. But people caught with cocaine powder would have to possess 100 times that amount, or 500 grams, to get the same five-year stint behind bars.
My favorite part of the article is when he waxes poetic about Al Sharpton
handing out books in the hood. Books for, about and BY White Folks.
Imagine Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson distributing free copies of Virginia Hamilton’s collection of folktales “The People Could Fly” or Dr. Seuss, and demanding that black parents sign pledges to read to their children. What would it take to make inner-city schools havens of learning?
Here is what I think. How about using your post at Harvard to teach
low income parents how to be advocate for themselves and their families.
Instead of outsourcing that shit to Sharpton, and complaining in The Times.

These cats will have you believing that the same issues that affect low
income Whites DON'T affect low income Blacks. Trill talk. Until we
have that discussion, this bullsh*t is moot.

In addition, today The Times was unprintable rhymes with
speculating about Jay-Z's worth and the fact that he displays Euros in his
new videos.

I could practically hear Mike Nizza foaming at the mouth
"That Jay-Z is one smart negro, just the way he used
his drug money to build
an empire. Downright genius."

Man. Listen. If we were allowed to keep just ONE of our TWO Black Wall Streets instead of having them torched to a f*cking crisp Rosewood
style we would have, or at least it would be MORE likely that we would have,
4, Jay Z's
3, Oprah's
6, Magic's
2, Baby Bill Gates
5, Madam CJ's
3, Maya Angelou's
1, FEMALE Spike Lee

You get my drift?

And while we are on poverty and Black Achievement
peep this.

I was browsing Jawanza Junjufu's book Think about it.
If poverty were the reason for "low Black achievement"
then why do children in affluent suburbs do SO F*CKING
POORLY at school.

COULD it be because they are the Model Minority in
class and that shit HURTS?

Being in a school system where all your Black friends
are in the regular classes and you are one of two in the
ap/ib/ bullsh*t advanced track.

Kunjufu's rationale is that African centered educational
philosophy would rendered "reading is white" moot, because
students who know that the first Doctor was Egyptian would
naturally infer that BLACK has meant and
continues to mean being educated.

Could it be that they are not taught about their history, who they are in
respect to the majority.
And that is why I am a problem.

Versatile in Insider Trading 14-e-3 deliciousness AND ebonic's, when I
learned about Dubois's theory of double consciousness,
I knew that I had found the explanation for my affinity for
Norman Mailer & Ice Cube, Rita Dove & MC Lyte and Fridah & Marvin.


Is Dr. Kunjunfu onto something?

What would it take to create more Black Male Teachers?

What were Black people thinking when they decided that
to stop teaching
en mass AFTER integration?

Do you get irritated when you read mainstream sh*t about J
and they treat him like some capitalistic D-Boy Magic Negro
sj, I stole ya sh*t)

How do you deal with the double consciousness


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Unpaid College Athletes.


Micheal Lewis has officially been added to the egg recipient short list.

His most recent piece makes a cohesive argument for why college
athletes at power house schools are entitled to receive payment
for their work.

Man. This is one of my favorite topics.

Right up there with Doom, High Achieve Low Income students
and feminist and hip hop.

Full disclosure, I had a preexisting affinity for Michael, as he
wrote the national bestselling Moneyball about my darling A's.

He writes:

College football’s best trick play is its pretense that it has nothing to do with money, that it’s simply an extension of the university’s mission to educate its students. Were the public to view college football as mainly a business, it might start asking questions. For instance: why are these enterprises that have nothing to do with education and everything to do with profits exempt from paying taxes? Or why don’t they pay their employees?
So. Its about education. Right. If that were the case, why does it take
athletes so long to graduate, why are they excused from classes more so
than the average student, why are they allowed to remain students while
being functionally literate.

Uh. 'Cuz they can throw the ball like a f*cking..

Shit is all about the benjis.

Awww. And here is the passage that garners egg avaialbility status.
This is maybe the oddest aspect of the college football business. Everyone associated with it is getting rich except the people whose labor creates the value. At this moment there are thousands of big-time college football players, many of whom are black and poor. They perform for the intense pleasure of millions of rabid college football fans, many of whom are rich and white. The world’s most enthusiastic racially integrated marketplace is waiting to happen.

Sound like hip hop to you?

Reading shit like this makes being a model minorty, that much more tolerable.
But between buyer and seller sits the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to ensure that the universities it polices keep all the money for themselves — to make sure that the rich white folk do not slip so much as a free chicken sandwich under the table to the poor black kids. The poor black kids put up with it because they find it all but impossible to pursue N.F.L. careers unless they play at least three years in college. Less than one percent actually sign professional football contracts and, of those, an infinitesimal fraction ever make serious money. But their hope is eternal, and their ignorance exploitable.

Then he kills it, doing puff puff pass to the elephant in the room.

But their hope is eternal, and
their ignorance exploitable. SO much of
what I perceive about minorities, model & otherwise, is summed up
by this statement.

And then there is this statement.

Put that way the arrangement sounds like simple theft; but up close, inside the university, it apparently feels like high principle. That principle, as stated by the N.C.A.A., is that college sports should never be commercialized. But it’s too late for that.
College football already is commercialized, for everyone except the people who play it.

Reminds me of reading 40 Million Dollar Slaves.

Also reminds me of Frank Lucas a dude with money, but NO wealth.

Oh. And the word on the street is that that USC Reggie Bush sh*t is about
to go Barry Bonds.


Should college athletes get a compensation?

If so, why or why not?

What if anything should change about college ball?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Credit is the Devil.


SJ almost deaded me a month ago.

I f*cked up. You want to know how?

Not being forth coming about L-school related credit card
debt incurred during to my first year.

My historical greasiness didn't scare him away.
Nor did my smart mouth.
Sh*t he has hung in there through the the the tumultuous
'after dee dee' era.

But that credit. Almost got me deaded.

I was not being forthcoming, I withheld the actual amount
out of shame. I just gave him the low end ball park range.

Then the sh*t hit the fan.

His rationale is how can he be stacking claypot chips
and I can't even be forth coming with him regarding
my Forever 21/Zappos/brunch/Mac store/law school supplemental
study materials from amazon debt?

I had no response.

Well. I did have a response. See. I thought had a defense.

I have taught financial literacy classes, so I KNOW BETTER.

But. A perfect credit score + law school = recipe for disaster if you
don't exercise ninjaesque financial discipline.

Especially if you buy more school than you can afford.

Word to the Access Group.

Real talk. You want to see a couple fight.

Bring up money. Or sex.

With that in mind, I wish I could see the area in our brain that
lights up
when we are shopping.

In fact, I bet it is analogous to the area at that represents
sexual stimulation. Perhaps I am on to something

SJ and I are cool now.

Hugged it out.

But sh*t was tight for a minute.

I mean, anyone can do
Monday morning quarter backing. I made a mistake.
An egregious one. But a mistake just the same.

At the end of the day, his question for me
was whether I can save, which I can, and perhaps
most importantly why I employed those spending
habits when I in fact knew better.

I can honestly say that it was stress, convenience
and underestimating the long term impact of it.

Like many grad students, I underestimated my ability
to remain current. Jobs that I planned for, didn't work or
internships came though, but were UNPAID.
Sh*t was real.

I was mentioning this shit to Gotty, and he
said "Credit is the Devil".

That's real talk.


What have you bought lately?

What do you plan on taking back to the store?
What up Tmr! Yes, I'm calling you AND that dress out.

What is most of your credit card debit attributed
and how do you manage it?


Monday, November 12, 2007

Condi and Michelle: An Imagined Conversation.


Setting: Whole Foods, on outskirts of Silver Spring Maryland.
Friday morning. They are both on a quick grocery run.

They run into each other in the hot food "carving section".

Condi: I have been meaning to ask you, Girl, who does your buffount?

Michelle: My neice, Keyanna, she has a shop right downtown
near The Hill.

Condi: Oh. Okay. I will look her up. How is the campaign treating you,
Boma's numbers are hurting right now, at least nationally.

Michelle: I know girl. And boy does that man irritate me
when those numbers come out. I just have to reassure him
that "this is a marathon, not a sprint, darling."

Michelle's phone rings.

Michelle: Hold on Condi:

**Michelle takes call and quickly gets off.

Michelle: Sorry about that---

Condi: Hold up. Was that RAP music on your ring tone?

Michelle: Oh. What? Yeah. Its this young man named TI,
I met him at one of Boma's fundraisers in Atlanta.
He is a petite little power house of a man. I think
we raise 1.5 that night.

Condi looks at her shaking her head. Can't believe
that the woman has TI on her ringtone.

Michelle: Condi, don't look at me like that. Sh*t. I am a woman.
And that is just a ring tone for my baby sister so go on.
Speaking of me, whats going on with you. Whats your plans
for '08?

Condi: I haven't decided. I may go back to Stanford. I am
really interested in teaching. So we will see. As for right now,
this situation with Pakistan is irking my last DAMN nerve girl.
I mean the man has just went and suspended the damn constitution.
Now you know my job is hard
But with him making moves like this, it just makes arguing for
the benefits of democracy THAT much more challenging. You know?

I swear I could put his little @ss in a head lock.

(((( giggles at the idea of Condi putting Musharraf
in a head lock.)))))

=======<<<<<----demented, neurotic & creative.

Combustible combo, no?



Its 4am.

And I am on a flight to NYC
in a few hours.

I wrote this w/ American Gangster on repeat.
Can you tell?

I been fighting with SJ.

Sh*t hurts.

That "I miss you" fighting.

I'm scared y'all.

I don't know what BK holds for me.

Last time I was there, we didn't agree with each other.

In the spirit of planning ahead, I offer you these
three Monday morning posts, and I will see you
on Wednesday on the get back.



Brooklyn's Million Dollar Heist


Fresh from watching American Gangster,
I read this article about a million dollar heist in Brooklyn.

While reading it, all I could think was who does sh*t like this
and lives to tell about it?

Sean Gardiner at The Voice breaks it down,

Word started circulating in certain nefarious circles in Brooklyn in early 2006 that 40-year-old John Allen Davis was a mere shell of his former dope-dealing self, having been hospitalized with bacterial meningitis for a month and spending more than a week of that in a coma. One of his eyes was partially closed, he could hardly hear, and he needed help just to walk. He was "food," robbers were saying, ripe for the picking.

On January 19, 2006, some robbers recruited a big thug named Derrick Gordon and laid out a plan to satisfy their hunger. "They tellin' me they got a food," Gordon later told investigators. "They tellin' me they got a drug dealer with a hundred thousand at the house. Whatever, whatever. They say it's going to be easy. He just gonna give it up."

Then it gets super egregious because the kid caught by popo learns
that the cake was a 7 stacks, NOT 6.

The payoff wasn't immediate—the guys who recruited Gordon for the job told him that Davis had placed a "voodoo" curse on the money and that it had to be "washed" first. Gordon didn't believe in that shit, but what could he do but wait? He eventually got his cut: a sweet $15,000. Not bad for a guy making $10 an hour doing deliveries for Fresh Direct. Though it may not have exactly been easy come, the 15 large was easy go.

"Blew it up on anything, partying, having a good time," he recalled. "It took me about two weeks."

It was only three months later, as he sat in the squad room of the 63rd Precinct and listened to two detectives lay out the case against him, that Gordon realized how his partners in crime had screwed him—"royally," as his attorney put it.

While Gordon was doing the dirty work, his friends had found two duffel bags in an unlocked closet in the house of Davis's girlfriend. Inside the bags were 10 bundles wrapped carefully in black garbage bags and then encased in clear plastic wrap. Each bundle contained $100,000, making it a cool $1 million that the robbers had whisked out of the closet.

Man. It hurt just reading that sh*t.

Tell me you wouldn't be singing like a canary if you
out you got vanilla-vaselined like that?


If someone did You wrong like that, would it be time
to suspend "no police code" and take it to the streets.

Or would you sing like Mariah's canary?


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Will Okun, Black Students and the New York Times


What is it about Will Okun's column that gets white folks so riled up?
I have an idea of what it is. See. He is a white man working with
Black students.

and sees through other peoples sh*t talking about them.

Whenever we read a book by a black author about black culture or the “black experience,” I feel disingenuous leading a class discussion about issues tied so directly to the lives of the students. What do I know of racism? What do I know of systematic poverty? What do I know of hunger? What do I know of a (perceived) limited future? What do I know of struggle? What do I know of gangs and random violence? What do I know of fear?

These are just ideas to me, facts and stories that I have studied in a book or observed from the safety of my own privileged distance. What can I tell them about their own lives? Can I or should I teach what I have never experienced?

I wonder if my students feel like I do when I am at a mandatory teacher training facilitated by a person who is not a teacher. Teachers stare angrily at one another as yet another educational expert pontificates endlessly about how we can better educate our children. How dare these academics or bureaucrats advise us when they themselves are not fighting and struggling in the classrooms on a daily basis?

As anyone who ever attended graduate school knows, the theory and the practice of teaching are worlds apart.

And he speaks, honestly, about what it means to HAVE
Black or White have the courage or
passion to do what he DOES
let alone write about it.

Okun's latest piece on weather Black or White teachers are better
equipped to teach Black students. Some of the students felt that
white teachers had it on lock, while,
"...the other half of the class disagreed vehemently and argued that a teacher’s race plays a crucial role in the classroom. These students wrote about the importance of a “shared experience.” Mildred explained, “Black teachers know better where black students are coming from and so know how to better teach and explain lessons and ideas.” Darrel wrote, “Black teachers want more from us.” Anthony agreed, “Black teachers are harder on you. White teachers give up on you quicker.” Albert opined that “black students feel like they are being judged by white teachers,” and so “we will not ask or answer as many questions in a white class.” Ciarra concluded, “Black teachers just know how to relate better; they make the class more important to what is going-on in your life.”
Man. This dude says things that so many of us feel but
our, ahem,
platform is a little bit different.

Most of my readers, I understand, have some higher ed, OR
are in the process of pursuing it.
Presuming that some of you
are Black and many of you are not
I would like to know what
you think about the distinction between
learning from someone
who "looks like you", and someone who doesn't.


For Black children, especially, Urban Black children, do you think

it matters whether they learn from White teachers or Black
And because statistic show that most teachers in
"urban schools" are
white women what can we do to support
them in teaching our children?

Peace to Yeye and his momma.
Real talk. I wonder what effect this will have have on his desire to
get married and/or procreate.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Remy Ma ...American Gangster?


My favorite part fo the Remy Ma article in The Voice is when the author
quotes some girls who catch a glimpse of Remy in the street:

"That's Remy Ma!" a teenage girl says to her friend in disbelief.

The friend responds with a nudge: "Follow her!"

"Hell, no! She just shot her friend!" the first onlooker says,
staying right where she is.

Remy caught a case ladies and gentlemen.


I am not feeling the Jay-Z single.

Seriously, when the video first starts out, that shit felt like it was the
great beginning of hot narrative short.

In fact. It has the beginnings of a hot documentary.

I have not listened to the new
jawn in its entirety as
I am saving it for
some time on Friday when I can sit back and
decompress and get-
'er-in. (hi babe.)

I think I know what it is, I ain't feeling how forced the hook feel.

It ain't organic. Its like he trynna squeeze in too much.

Dear Summer. Show Me Wat'chu Got. They just flowed.

And the little shootin' at the end is SO cliche. I mean.


Come on.


Speaking of American Gangster NY mag has an conversation/interview
between Nicky Barnes and Frank Lucas.

Creepy. Old D-boys talking 'bout the good 'ol days.

But then. They start getting real and talking
about how THEY DON'T want to glorify the street game.

MJ: When the movies come out, there’ll be a lot of controversy about whether you guys are being glorified. What about that?

FL: Nick is a good dude who should be glorified, not me.

MJ: Why do you say that?

FL: Because he’s a hell of a good guy.

MJ: But you were both in the same business.

FL: You in the same business as other writers. You don’t go to slit their throat. Do you?

MJ: Frank. I mean, c’mon.

NB: No one should be elevated because of what they did in the drug business. The way we operated—there was a lot of violence, like, ten to twelve homicides, to keep the whole operation running. You can’t glorify that. It’s not something Frank or I would tell any of our children to get into.

FL: Absolutely right, Nick.

NB: Heroin wreaked a lot of havoc and a lot of pain in the black community. I shouldn’t have done it. Maybe I was aware, but I just didn’t give a fuck. I wanted to make money, and that’s what I did. Looking back, I wouldn’t have made those decisions, but it’s a hell of a lot different and much easier to sanitize yourself after the fact.

Wowsa. This is the voice that we NEVER hear. Black men speaking about AND
apologizing publicly
for the havoc wreaked on the hood.


New Jay, ye or nay?

If Jay did a version of "Big Brother" who would it be about
and why?

Are black folks to soft on thugs? Or are thugs like crack heads

and politicians, family members too?<<<---Can't believe I just said that.

Whose more corrupt, dope dealers or cops? <<---Egregious.


Wesley Got no Love for the Redneck Juries.


Wesley Snipes, Taxes and Rednecks. So, your boy Wesley's tax
evasion case is up, and he is trying to get a change of venue citing
how racist Ocola County, Florida is:

The motion, which seeks to have the charges dismissed or the trial moved to New York, describes the area as "a hotbed of Klan activity where the Klan adopted highways to commemorate the Klan and the Confederate flag flies over government property."
Hell naw at a "Hot bed of Klan activity."


If Bernard Kerik (Guiliani's former police comissioner) was a black man,
he would be toast, with some cream cheese and a side of butter or strawberry
jam if you like it sweet.

Authorities have alleged that Kerik took tens of thousands of dollars in services from benefactors and never reported it as income. Earlier this year, he rejected a plea deal, and his attorney insisted he had done nothing wrong.

An indictment would be the latest chapter of a downfall that began within days of Kerik's nomination in 2004 to head the Department of Homeland Security. At the time, he was billed by the former mayor as a no-nonsense, self-made lawman who helped restore calm following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

But the nomination was confronted with news reports about stock-option windfalls, his connections with people suspected of doing business with the mob and overlapping extramarital affairs with two women: Judith Regan, the publisher of his memoir, and a city correction officer. The liaisons reportedly occurred in an apartment near ground zero that had been set aside for rescue workers.

Kerik, 51, who married his current wife in 1998 and has two children with her, apparently became close with Regan while writing "The Lost Son," in which he described being abandoned by his prostitute mother.

Kerik rose from cop to Giuliani's correction commissioner in the late 1990s. From there, he became police commissioner and later went to work in Iraq rebuilding the country's police force.
So. Hold up, he did all this sh*t and Giuliani just got the
Pat Robinson nod?
Politics. Bedfellows. Strange.


Bush nominee dresses up in Black face, ahem, BRONZE face, a
Dred Lock, wig and A prison uniform and STILL THINKS she is
going to keep her job.





A Halloween party where a Department of Homeland Security worker won praise for a costume of darkened skin and prison garb may stall Senate confirmation of the party's host for a second time.

Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said Wednesday that she has placed a temporary "hold" on Julie Myers' nomination for the job of assistant homeland security secretary for immigration and customs enforcement until Myers answers questions about the party, including why photographs of her with the costumed employee were destroyed after questions were raised.

"As the leader of that organization, she should have immediately recognized the problem and asked that person to leave," said McCaskill, who has raised previous concerns about Myers' nomination. "And what really happened was, she judged the costume as one that should get a prize and be recognized and she had her photograph taken with the person in the costume -- and only later came back and apologized and said it was a problem."

Hold up. So she hosted the party. Judged the costume.
Took pictures with the employee.


When she learned that her new appointment was on the line,
she thought.
"Aww. Sh*t. My bad."


I wonder if one of those @ss itch liberals are going to figure
out how to blame this on Hip Hop.

An 18-year-old student opened fire at his high school in this placid town in southern Finland on Wednesday, killing eight people before shooting himself in a rampage that stunned a nation where gun crime is rare.

The gunman was rushed to a hospital in Helsinki with a gunshot wound to his head after the shooting at Jokela High School in Tuusula, some 30 miles north of the capital.


Is Wesley snipes tripping or what?

What would you do with the money that you
spend on taxes?


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