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Donald Trump is a Lie

In memory of Frances Cress Welsing and John Henrik Clarke

In the news Donald Trump spews that African Americans are lazy

Let’s discuss why this representative viewpoint is hazy

African Americans, don’t go PC when you insult me

Here we go again, this is that same old Willie Lynch spin,

Lazy?! Is that what you think?

I guess that’s why you had to blow the nose off the Sphinx

 

You claim to be the wealth creator, yet America was built with free black labor

How Lazy? when our bones evidence the pain and strain of carrying loads we couldn’t bear

and your children we were forced to bear

No more like resilient and brilliant

How Lazy? when college tuitions were paid while we shined Jim Crow’s shoes

 

I can imagine at rallies, your hatred garners a cheer

But our industry not thuggery is really what you fear

How Lazy? When we built towns and you burned them to the ground

Your books reveal your mission, to tell a history of omission

You don’t want the competition, so “Deportate” is what you advocate

 

Given half a chance to compete, we excel

But that wouldn’t be the story, you want to tell

 

And while we’re talking history, let’s check up on your family

Daddy a Klansman, his dad a pimp, that’s the truth of your roots

African Americans Lazy?  Just Propaganda and crazy.

Like my President said, I get so mad it makes me cry

Bottom line, Donald Trump is a Lie.

Where’s my Oscar

The 88th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday February 28. This year, as in past years, many movies and actors were recognized and many others were snubbed. The hashtag #oscarssowhite was established from the backlash. I have been a movie fan and an Oscar fan since I was a little kid. Movies and going to the movies have changed over the years. Back in the day, it was common to see 2 movies and a cartoon and others remember the “newsreel”. Not only were two movies shown but you could stay and watch all day. These days if a movie is over 90 minutes, it better be good for our present day attention spans.

I watched as Spike Lee blasted the Academy for overlooking worthy African American performances and vowing to boycott the event. I don’t ever remember seeing Spike at the event. Also Jada Pinkett Smith also proclaimed her disgust at the proceedings, perhaps supporting her husband’s Will Smith’s snub for his movie Concussion which many proclaimed was Oscar-worthy. Let’s be clear, the Oscars ARE so white as is Hollywood. I just cringe when a Spike Lee will criticize and, as a knee-jerk reaction, Hollywood will respond but not in a helpful way. Take note, for years, the Oscar broadcast always opened with a big production number. Several dancers and singers and music would grace the stage and in recent years Debbie Allen would often be the choreographer. Well, one year Spike Lee, that purveyor of what is proper and good, complained that he didn’t like the big production opening. Since his complaint, no more big production number. So who was harmed? First of all, Debbie Allen, and all the dancers of all colors who performed.

For myself and others who have followed Oscar nominations, it is not just African Americans who get snubbed. Popular, gifted actors often never get nominated and many actors receive the award not necessarily for their best performance but for some lesser performance because Oscar “didn’t get it right”, e.g. Denzel Washington in Training Day rather than for Malcolm X or The Hurricane. As recently as 2014, African American actors received nominations and 12 years a slave won Best Picture. Now part of me is complaining that Oscar always awards ugly depictions, Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball, Charlize Theron in Monster, and Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave. Going ugly does not always work as Jennifer Anniston can attest. The outrage seems a bit like the tone of many millennials, sounding like entitlement, as if one spot of the five nominations should be reserved for an African American performance, but wait no, that would be a quota.

What really makes me crazy is the self-appointed African American spokespeople want it both ways. This year, complaints were numerous that Idris Elba for example was snubbed. However, I love Mr. Elba but not sure what movie he starred in. Not because I’m not a movie goer but did his studio do any promotion? I don’t remember seeing a trailer, a commercial, Idris on any daytime or nighttime show promoting the movie. You can have the best product or performance but if people aren’t aware then the chances it will be nominated are slim. In years past, the Oscars were a competition between studios in Variety and the Hollywood Explorer. Miramax promoting some of their movies is legend. What’s worse is two years ago, when Chad Bozeman gave an entertaining and spot-on performance as James Brown, many of these same self-appointed African American spokespeople proclaimed that Mr. Bozeman’s “performance was no Ray” and not Oscar worthy.

So here was an opportunity to boost a brother but like the Debbie Allen critique, we shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot and when we don’t get the nod, we complain. We need to cheer and support and if you don’t have anything good to say, shut the F* up. African Americans are not alone in being snubbed, so if we have someone, let’s promote and boost. At the end of the day, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and George Lucas probably feel that they should get a nomination and an Oscar also. If Leo DiCaprio loses again, what can he say?

The Oscars are not fair and while competitive, are not a sport but entirely subjective. So I’ll be watching this year again to see the gowns and Chris Rock, this year’s host. In the future, let’s hope that if an African American is involved, let support as fellow African Americans, it’s hard enough when the white “pretty” people don’t get nominated for us to be sabotaging ourselves. Also can we bring back the big opening production number? And where’s my Oscar?

Donald Trump is a Lie

Donald Trump is a Lie

 

In the news Donald Trump spews that African Americans are lazy

Let’s discuss why this representative viewpoint is hazy

African Americans, don’t go PC when you insult me

Here we go again, this is that same old Willie Lynch spin,

Lazy?! Is that what you think?

I guess that’s why you had to blow the nose off the Sphinx

 

You claim to be the wealth creator, yet America was built with free black labor

How Lazy? when our bones evidence the pain and strain of carrying loads we couldn’t bear

and your children we were forced to bear

No more like resilient and brilliant

How Lazy? when college tuitions were paid while I shined Jim Crow’s shoes

 

I can imagine at rallies, your hatred garners a cheer

But our industry not thuggery is really what you fear

How Lazy? despite the handicaps imposed to legitimize your crimes,

Your books reveal your mission, to tell a history of omission

You don’t want the competition, so “Deportate” is what you advocate

 

Given half a chance to compete, we excel

But that wouldn’t be the story, you want to tell

 

And while we’re talking history, let’s check up on your family

Daddy a Klansman, his dad a pimp, that’s the truth of your roots

African Americans Lazy?  Just Propaganda and crazy.

Like my President said, I get so mad it makes me cry

Bottom line, Donald Trump is a Lie.

The art of buying a drink or what not to do

I must admit I love bar protocol and one of the wonderful things about bars and being a woman is that men will, from time to time, buy you a drink. For me, like a catcall, it’s a sign that somehow as old as I am I still got it, whatever it is. LOL. My husband, however, hates this. He has even asked his brothers how they feel about men buying their wives drinks. His brothers are fun and told him that they don’t care because if some fool wants to buy them drinks then they not only don’t they have to buy the drinks but often drink the drinks also. Love those guys, but their input hasn’t changed my husband’s belief. But at least he’s heard from the male perspective that it is really no big deal as his brothers didn’t feel disrespected or that their wives were opening up the door to anything. I maintain that a free drink is a gift, a small gesture of chivalry and kindness. You toast your benefactor and acknowledge the gift prior to drinking and continue on with your life. From time to time, the buyer will come over and begin a conversation but more often than not, no conversation is exchanged.

But there are unfortunate exceptions. Okay so then there are the men that buy you at drink at the club; it’s been a while since I’ve been to the club but I doubt it’s changed. They want to buy you that $8 drink and then talk to you all night and basically block from you from everybody the entire evening. Can I basically just give you the $8 back so you can go away so I can be free?

There is a protocol to everything and there are things not to do when buying a woman a drink at the bar. Now, I’ve had some friends complain that they go some places expecting and nobody has bought them a drink. I explain how it was told to me years ago from a wise and generous drink buyer. First of all, men don’t want to buy a broke girl the first drink. I respect that a man doesn’t want to buy you your first drink. But if you are so inclined to buy the second drink, here’s my thinking. The best is while you are still drinking your first, the bartender comes over and tell you that so and so is buying you a drink. How fantastic! Particularly, if all you had is money for one drink. But if you don’t do it ahead of time and I’ve ordered my second, there’s ways to do it. You can pay for my second. Cheers and thank you!

Recently, a girlfriend and I were out celebrating the holiday season. This guy was sitting next to us and I admit he was a bit bizarre. I could see he was ear hustling our conversation but whatever. We bought our martinis, laughed and against our better judgment, ordered a second round before we hit BART and Muni. Thoroughly toasted and on our way home, the bartender comes over and tells us that the strange man as he was leaving bought us a drink. Now mind you we had paid for our second drink while he was still there. So now I’ve got to get (more) drunk accepting the third drink, insult you by refusing the drink, or just waste charity. Really, the third drink? Are you waiting for me to pass out? The third drink is suicide. Thank you, kind stranger but under no circumstances should you buy me or anyone else their third drink.

Protests – What’s next

We know that justice isn’t being served but it is not a new thing, so what are we going to do about it? Injustice goes back to Angela Davis, Assata, the leaders of black nationalists’ organizations back in the sixties and seventies and the concerted effort from the government to subvert these groups and bring them down because they were advocating for change that those in power did not want even though it was just. So now, it continues, it continues, it continues.

What I say is we need to stop killing ourselves. Build our strength, develop our troops. If this is a war, we are killing ourselves from within, that’s the old Willie Lynch model. Let’s strengthen our base, educate our children, and create our own businesses. I’m not saying be separatists or black nationalists, what I am saying is be smart in the economy that we have, with the situation we are in and start take care of ourselves and each other.

Let’s make a stink about everything that happens in our communities. We get blamed for everything anyway. So we need to just start focusing on being better to ourselves, and build ourselves up so we can get out there and be better from the bottom to the top and be about it. And be about it means being the best and taking care of people. And not getting five cents and deciding that I can’t give you the penny I owe you that you gave me when I didn’t have anything last week. So that’s my prescription.

If we’re going to protest, let’s be focused. What wrong with the system? The problem is with the police and the courts so let’s address that and not stop BART and block the freeways; people are trying to go to work and school. Destroying businesses is not the answer. Some people have businesses. We talk about don’t work for the “man” and as a business owner you are looking forward to Black Friday and then we say let’s boycott Black Friday. A Black Friday boycott is not going to hurt the police or the criminal justice system. We need to figure out how we’re going to positively impact the police and criminal justice.

And I say if you did not vote in the last election, you don’t get to be out in the streets protesting. So let me see your “I voted” sticker or some proof that you voted and then you can go out here and protest. I don’t think that people who voted are out here tearing stuff up, I just don’t think that’s the mindset but if you are a voter and tearing stuff up, I’d like to interview you.

So what would we say if those in power said to the protesters, “Okay, enough already, what do you want?” How would the protesters respond? Is there a spokesperson, is there a leader? Is there a common theme? Is there a common goal, so that every protester would articulate the same objective? To be pondered or are we just protesting to have anarchy or to just have a tantrum and be mad. A protest without a purpose is a waste of time, money, and effort. If it’s all about just getting on the news, getting arrested, or stopping traffic then we are not going to change what we are protesting against which should be the objective.

Inspire Me Today – REPOST

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What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Life and Men (via inspiremetoday.com)

We gravitate towards what we contemplate, so believe the best about everyone. Constantly extend grace, kindness and forgiveness to all mankind. Until we know who we are and why we were created, we risk the temptation of allowing other things and other…


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Gratitude – c/o Langston Hughes

I was chatting with one of my favorite people about my journey and prepping for a meeting and she mentioned – just tell them “Life ain’t been no crystal stair”. I knew I had heard that phrase and poem before, so of course I googled and below is the source of the “crystal stair” courtesy of Langston Hughes.

Well son, I’ll tell you
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
and boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor –
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s
and turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’ you set down on the steps
Cause you finds its kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now –
For I’se still goin’ honey,
I’se still climbin’
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair

Langston Hughes

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