Friday, January 27, 2017


The idea of equality in this country is, and always has been an illusion. It started as a means to justify the end of seceding from Britain, and has been maintained ever since. Not just the concept of racial equality or gender equality but rather equality on a much larger scale. In other words, societal equality or rather societal inequality, since the very concept of society denotes inequality. Within a community with a singular focus, status is implied, indeed in some cases necessary. There will always be a dominant group in power. The closest we as a race of humans have every come to true equality is the Athenian democracy, which was not a true democracy. Even in that regard, it was marred by inequality since, slaves and women had no vote and therefore not voice. Men who were not prosperous and did not own land were not equal to those with more. Even in a Communist society, there are leaders. Human leaders. Human leaders who often have favorites, or simply give themselves more and others less. Power, or more specifically, the misuse of power will always be the bane of our society.

The logical conclusion? Equality is an illusion. There's simply no truth to it. There will always be a class system in every country no matter where you go, whether explicit as it is with the caste systems of India, or implicit, as it is here in the United States. Once you accept that, the next statement will make more sense: as individuals we cannot balance the scales. No matter how many boot straps you pull, or how hard you work, you will never successfully gain equality. You may gain access to more influence, power, or money, but you still haven't gained equality for the rather obvious reason that equality isn't a thing you can gain.

With that knowledge in hand, one might wonder: what then do we do about equality? The answer is quite simple: we have to rely on powerful organizations to balance the scales the best they can. In the United States, this task is unenviable, especially since the entire country was built with the blood of slaves, the majority of whom were of African descent. The effects of slavery are unique from the incident of slavery in one key way. The time period in which slavery existed is well-documented, but its effects are not. We can document the numerous disparities between the children of the formerly enslaved, and attribute it to slavery, but in truth, the damage done by three plus centuries of psychological, emotional and physical torture, not to mention the cultural damage caused by forcibly uprooting 12.5 million Africans and transplanting them into the U.S. converting them into property to be bought and sold at their owners' whims.

We can't change the past. We can only try to correct its effects. Many of the alt-right would say we shouldn't try, or that we have done enough. But have we really? 12.6% of the U.S. population identify as Black Americans, according to data from, maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau. That's 38,929,319 for those keeping track at home. According to the U. S. Bureau of Prisons, Black people constitute 37.9% of the prison population, for a total of 71,647 Black inmates. By contrast, non-Hispanic Whites are 63.7% of the country at 196,817,552. White inmates comprise 58.6% of the prison population, numbering 110,871. Surely this was caused by slavery?

Perhaps, but the water is considerably muddier than this. In the 1980's, in an effort to circumvent Congress and fund Contras in Nicaragua, the CIA begin selling cocaine and weapons to inner cities largely populated by Black Americans. Couple this with segregation, mass lynchings, and the "war on drugs" and suddenly, attribution seems far more difficult than before.

One of the key fallacies of attribution is that things can attributed to one source. We often think of things originating from one source, but the truth of the matter is that we can attribute the disparity in our statistical samples to multiple  sources. However, one thing holds true as we continue to explore the various reasons: the majority of the causes are external. To say that Black people are more inherently predisposed to crime, is ignorant, myopic and irresponsible.

As stated earlier, we can't change the past. But we can help mitigate the damage of our previously poor decisions. We can't undo the mistakes of our forefathers, but we can help those affected by it. Not because we should, but more importantly because we can. The United States is a country that has afforded so many opportunities to all of us. The very creed of this nation is about the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, and the core values of the U.S. reflect that. It's that very fact that gives us the ability to help those who have been wronged, to set right what once went wrong. Not simply because we have to, or because we should. But because we can.

Monday, October 13, 2014

People Suck

People suck royally. I came out of blogging hiatus to just say that. People suck. What? You want more? Sure. Let's do that.

Let's start with the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. Police kill a young boy. Everyone in town gets upset and decides to protest. Which makes sense really. I mean I wanted to protest. But the protests then turned into rioting and looting. Which doesn't makes sense. Well, it does. Looters tend to want free stuff, and I mean, really, who doesn't want free stuff? I'm sure even Warren Buffet gets down on the continental breakfast sometimes. 

But now, any momentum to change the system is gone because one person wanted free stuff. Or maybe it was a group. No change was enacted. Another black youth gets gunned down in the same town. See what all that rioting did?

I know what you're thinking. It sounds like I'm saying protest is pointless. Nope. that's dumb. That's real dumb. You should protest. But rioting isn't really protest. It's pretty much just venting of anger. To say rioting is a viable means of protest is tantamount to saying that soccer games are viable political forums, and the loss of a soccer match is as moving a tragedy as the death of a young man.

What I am saying is people suck. The same people who don't change the paper on the printer at work are the same people who start rioting, with little to no knowledge about what they've joined. We all know these people. They don't care. They don't care that that they've ruined what started as a peaceful protest. They threw some stuff. They were there. They posted on the Internet about it, and they turned up. They showed the establishment. For all of two days, they were fury incarnate. But they weren't enacting change. Just proving that they and all their ilk deserve the bullets they get.

People are short-sighted, impatient, and worst of all selfish. We only want what helps us. The few times we actually do things to help other people, we do it selfishly. None of us would take a homeless person in and help him get back on his feet, but we would all give him two dollars, as "long as he doesn't use it on alcohol". What else is he going to use two dollars on? Gum? Honey buns? That two dollars isn't going to turn his life around. We give that two dollars so we can keep walking by and feel good about ourselves because we're that level of selfish and that level of pious, myself included.

One way to determine someone's mentality is to ask if they could fix one thing, what would they fix. The problem with that question is it implies no effort or giving on our parts. We can change the world. We don't need a genie or a magic lamp. We need to put our noses to the grindstone. We need to think about more than ourselves. We need to put forth an effort to think about more than our own lives and problems. But most of us don't. Know why? It's simple. It's because most of us suck.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Black People Are Cowards?

I have tried to write this in a way that made sense and was coherent and not angry but…I couldn’t. A rapper and musician from NY just called all black people cowards. Black people like my grandfather who was shot in the line of duty in the army and didn’t receive a purple heart until 1989. Black people like my uncle who went to Vietnam and fought a war that wasn’t his. Black people who live in states and cities where they are NOT the majority, and they know it. Black people who live in states like Alabama, where interracial marriage is still technically illegal, not because no one tried to change the law, but because attempts to change it are voted down. Black people who live in Mississippi, where a black man was killed simply because some white teenagers decided at a party that they should go “f*** with some niggers”. Black people who wake up every day with the weight of oppression crushing their soul. To suggest that these black people and the millions like them are cowards is a position born of arrogance and privilege.

Black people make up thirteen percent of the population in America. That numerical minority is reflected everywhere except in prison, where in 2009, Non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 39.4% of the prison population. Meanwhile only six are CEOS of Fortune 500 companies. Are you really so myopic to think that our problems as a race are going to be solved with a boycott? By refusing to go to work? Black Americans are not going to affect any positive changes by becoming homeless or by wasting opportunities to spread wealth and power throughout their communities because of one racist’s comments.

Racists have had positions of power for decades now, and when black people decide to take up arms and fight against the system, the racists are the ones who WIN. There can be no victory when we as a race of Americans forget that while we are black, we are also American. There can be no victory if the most responsible of our race, those who have taken advantage of the opportunities that the system has afforded them, throw those opportunities away because there are racists in the world.

The struggle that Homeboy Sandman refers to is one that neither he nor anyone of our generation truly understands. Our parents and our grandparents understand what a struggle is because they survived it. They went through a time when black people were rightfully afraid for their lives. Homeboy Sandman doesn’t understand that struggle and to be fair, neither do I. But do you know what my grandfather, my grandmother, and my parents all instilled in me at an early age, as a young black man growing up in Alabama? Survive. It’s not as glorious as getting gunned down fighting the police, nor is it as bold as quitting your job because you work for a racist. But it is the long-term plan that has ensured that Homeboy Sandman and millions like him are alive and it is the reason why we have the freedom of expression we have now.

I’m not saying to smile and dance and “yes them to death” in the words of Ralph Ellison, but I am saying to use what the system affords to point out the wrongs and oppression. If Chris Paul keeps his high profile job and uses his money to help send black children to college, or uses his celebrity to highlight the struggle of inner city black children to get comparable education to others, who is to say that he isn’t down for the “cause” or the “struggle”. To suggest that we all throw away our jobs the minute the world is revealed to be something different than what we want it to be, is myopic simply because it is planning to win only one minor battle instead of remembering the need to win the war. Survival is how we win the war. Throwing away our jobs at the first sign of racism isn’t the struggle. Remembering the need to survive, gritting our teeth, swallowing our pride and doing what it takes to win the war against racism is. Maybe that means letting the American system deal with injustices. Maybe that means suiting up and playing for an organization that is owned by a racist. Maybe that means not fighting everyone who calls you a nigger. Maybe it means instead of punching your coworker for saying something racist, you take it to HR and let the system deal with it accordingly.

Don’t throw away everything in an attempt to win a minor battle. Survival is how we win the war against racism.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Don't. Just...don't.

I never thought I'd have to write this post. Seriously. But apparently, what do I know? Okay. Soap box time.

Blacks were not better off during slavery. I repeat: Blacks were NOT better off during slavery. Let's look at what slavery was.

Slavery was the legal dehumanization of an entire race of people. It not only condoned the sale and mistreatment of an entire race, but it was LEGALLY acceptable. There was no recourse against it, and by law, Black people were considered less than human. Recently, Clive Bundy said this. Shockingly enough, there are people still trying to support this statement, or flip it or...whatever. To say black people were better off in slavery because now they are under a different system of oppression is nothing less than inflammatory rhetoric designed to garner some notoriety and press for yet another white person who has some conservative agenda. 

Conservative agenda you say? Yes, a conservative agenda of "slavery wasn't that bad". Why would anyone want to prove that slavery wasn't bad? If slavery wasn't really bad, then the effects of slavery must be not exist. Black people as a whole being unable to obtain wealth can't be blamed on the damage of building the foundation of a country for free. Which means, that all the social programs which benefit black people are completely unnecessary. Affirmative action? Nope. Not necessary. Slavery wasn't that bad. Medicare? Nope. Not necessary. Slavery wasn't that bad. Everyone started in America on equal grounds, and because of that, we don't need to try to help anyone. Bootstraps! Equality! Freedom! Of course, I'm not privy to all of the conservative master plans, but this one seems relatively viable, though significantly paranoid and overwhelmingly myopic.

White people, as a black person, I have to be honest with you. I really hate when you decide for me and my race what's best for us. Funny story, that happened a lot during slavery. But if you're the latest white person in a long line of white people to say you know what's best for black people, chances are you might actually have no problems with slavery. Hear that? That's conservatives everywhere crying foul. I know, I know, you don't want slaves, you want equality, and blah blah blah. Look let's all agree, stop using black people to make points. Slavery happened and there's nothing you can do about it.

Of course, that'll never happen because conservatives understand even if they do all this, most black people still aren't going to vote for them.

Side note: Clive Bundy is a criminal who is willfully disobeying the government, and has been for years. Why would anyone put a camera or microphone in front of him, ask him his opinion and then spread it to the masses? WHY?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

So...Jeff Orr = Thug?

The news cycle is becoming ridiculous. I don't say that with some grand scepter or design to enforce change so that everyone bends to my will and does things a "better" way. Evil supervillain I'm not. But I can illustrate my point. Let's look at the story with Marcus Smart shall we?

For those of you who don't know, Marcus Smart is a 19 year old college basketball player from Ohio State, who upon entering the crowd during a recent game, shoved a fan. According to a sportscaster, Smart told his coach that the fan had called him the N word.. Understandably, the internet was set ablaze, from athletes weighing in on how the youngster should have conducted himself, to others who were arguing if you use the N word against a black man, he should be able to make you pay, no matter the context.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to save face with fans and the NCAA, Ohio State decided to suspend Marcus Smart, and issued a press release saying as much. The sleeping volcano erupted as the townspeople of the internet all begin to react to this perceived slight anew. Racism, the black people cried. Fairness, the not black people cried. As flaming conversations fell around them, mankind began to consume itself in sheer anger. And still, no one asked any questions. At least not any truly pertinent ones.

Questions like, what kind of person is Marcus Smart? What's been happening with him lately? More importantly, has Marcus Smart shown himself to be angry before? Why would he be angry enough to push a fan? One more very important question: in today's world, if a non-white fan calls a black player the N word, within earshot of others, why did no one else step forward and at the very least corroborate his story? So no one stood up and said, hey man, that's messed up. Okay, I can believe that. But no one, not even one fan heard a man call another man a slur? I know it's a loud arena, but I have a hard time believing that.

The news cycle doesn't reward asking questions, for pretty obvious reasons. If you're among the first to throw an news story/opinion out, more people will turn to you for the story, and the more people who look to you for the story, no matter how wrong it may later prove to be, the more you can be paid. That's how the news works. We all know it. The news is what it is because we made it that way. The news gives us what we want. It's our fault collectively. As I said at the outset, I'm not going to pretend that I'm above it all, that the world is full of idiots who are beneath me. I'm right in the midst of it, and I'm as guilty as anyone else.

After it was all said and done, ESPN ran a story about how the fan is saying he said "a piece of crap" or some such, and honestly, part of me wants to believe that fan. Sure he has reasons and motivation to lie, but no one heard what happened. At least no one has come forward to say they have. There were at least two people in the same area as Smart, and they haven't said if they heard anything. But again, who asked?

As far as Marcus Smart's reaction, of the best things to happen to sports was the Malice in the Palace. Say what you will about Metta World Peace, but at the end of the day, he is a grown man, and he reacted like a grown man would to having a bottle thrown at him. There's a difference between sitting at home, yelling at a television and sitting in an arena yelling at a real people. Real people have feelings, and if you don't want to respect them, that's okay, just know that those real people with real feelings have real fists and might just give you a real good reason to shut up. I know, I know, the brawl in Detroit marred the image of the NBA for years after. So much so that the Pacers didn't even play in Detroit for another three years. It was a terriblly brutal example of the fact that NBA players, while they may be marketed as products, aren't products, they're people.

When I get angry at my laptop, I call it the N word. Loudly. A few times, I've smacked it around. That's because my laptop is a product, not a person. You can't treat people who play sports, professional or amateur, as if they are products. That's just the way it works. You mistreat a person, that person has a choice. There's been a lot of talk about college athletes having more to lose than fans, and frankly, I think that speaks to the sad state that college athletics is in, but fans need to have something to lose. If I told you that for fifty bucks, you can go and yell at 19 year olds all you wanted, throw things at them, and generally take all of your problems in life and yell them out with no consequences, why wouldn't you?  This is what happens in college arenas around the world. It sounds terrible. Which begs the question: why is this acceptable?

For those who say the fans are just wrapped up into the passion of the game, I say this: remember when Richard Sherman, someone who actually PLAYS in the game got passionate during an interview with Erin Andrews? What did we say about him?  He's a thug, right? Why is Richard Sherman a thug, but Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr isn't? Both are college alumni. Both care about a sports team. What's the difference between the two?

Look, at the end of the day, Marcus Smart will go on to be an NBA player, Richard Sherman still has a Superbowl ring and Jeff Orr...well, he's a white male. How many more advantages can he have?