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Posts Tagged ‘hip hop’

Hip Hop and Rap music are original American art forms and artists should be free to express themselves in any medium.  I am not for censorship of whatever music adults choose to enjoy.  This discussion is important on a political/governance blog because people make choices surrounding musical sub-cultures and the government is left to deal with the financial consequences.

In communities, we should be mindful that music can play a serious role in the development of young minds and establishment of value systems.  Since colonial days, older Americans have been concerned with the messages in music.  It seems that some current artists/entertainers inadvertently lead the youth down a negative path.  But, old people were once young people and our parents had issues with Prince, AC/DC, Rick James etc.

I contend that the situation is much worse today than 30 years ago because technology can pump all kinds of thoughts into Junior’s ears while all we had was Soul Train and Bandstand.

Proper Context: People can listen to any music in its proper context. It’s art; it’s entertainment. If you stand on a strong moral foundation, exposure to ideas from music wouldn’t dramatically change who you are.  We loved Prince and still love him but I never wore eyeliner or a Captain Crunch Pirate coat.  Early rap gave urban youth an opportunity to battle with words and dance.  Later, the gangsta rap of N.W.A. and Tupac explained the problems of some urban youth in a useful way.  Again, the proper context was kids speaking about their circumstances and that’s why the L.A. riots were foretold by N.W.A. and Ice Cube.

N.W.A. was art imitating life.  As middle-aged parents, the living members of N.W.A. (rest in peace Eazy-E) have their children and grandchildren in safe, comfortable environments—gated communities with cul-de-sacs.  They want better for their kids and prisoners generally want better for their families also.

When real money came into the rap culture, the whole game changed.  People would do or say anything to make more cash…with no regard for societal effects.  Kids from good families made hardcore changes to their vibes to get a record deal.  It was life imitating art to the point that many college students (black, white, brown and yellow) can’t be distinguished from common thugs and street walkers.  As Gil Scott Heron said about another matter “it’s the ultimate realization of the inmates running the asylum.”  But, in this case, the asylum is the whole community.  Senior citizens lock themselves inside their modest homes and dare say a word about the kids with no shirts across the street blasting filth that would make the devil blush.

School kids seek to emulate pimps and pushers rather than positive, law-abiding members of the community.  Rap videos actually have some youth ignoring education and training because the millions they plan to make in the hip hop culture will be much easier.  Of course, a person who develops expensive taste without money soon considers illegal money-making options.

Understand, hip hop is a culture—not just music.  It’s a way of life that involves dress and speech.  Lord have mercy on my community because too many kids are spending their formative years ignoring the foundations of a healthy family, career and home.  Instead, they are making themselves less employable if not unemployable—really, these fools are deployable.  Hey, we had wild phases in our youth but most activities didn’t have permanent consequences.  “NowhatI’msayin…Nowhati’msayin..naw meen.”

Of course, I am talking about the negative section of the hip hop culture and the positive section would be my selection if I was young today.  I recently listened to a Breakfast Club radio interview with Kanye West. When Charlemagne told West that he should go where he is “celebrated not tolerated,” I thought about my community and both major political parties but we aren’t going there.  When West said he listens to advice from Jay-Z and musical cues from new rappers, Charlemagne said that the Bible teaches “Old men for counsel; young men for war.”

1 Kings 12:8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him. 

I love thinking about King Rehoboam’s situation and the current hip hop culture. This guy was the son of Solomon and the people asked him to make their yoke lighter.  The old guys told him to speak good words to them and they would be his servants forever.  But, Rehoboam listened to the guys his age and made the yoke heavier.  When I was young, I would hang with the fellows but the real advice for living came from those older gentlemen and ladies.  In college, I was listening to seniors, grad students, professors and young professionals because listening to other young folks primarily would be like the blind leading the blind.

If people don’t have solid elders in their corners, they live aimlessly and take advise from hip hop music.

I have lived in the “hood” a few times in life but I was never ghetto enough to love the struggle.  Like the yoke in the Bible passage, the struggle can be one’s circumstance.  Blacks in the South were generally striving for a better life…what’s the plan….what’s the good news?  To be frank, those who loved being ignorant and those who loved struggling were avoided.

Today, music executives who are only interested in revenue promote ignorant entertainers (I won’t call them artists) who will do or say everything negative to get more money.  As a result, we have a generation of youth influenced by ignorant peers more so than parents, the church or school.  They love the struggle as a way of life and being incarcerated seems like a badge of courage.  We know old prisoners begged the youth not the make the mistakes they made.

At times, it seems that the worst element of hip hop has a more detrimental impact on the community than the Klan.  Chuck D and Public Enemy in 1991 had an interlude after the song “Shut em Down” in which “Bernie Crosshouse” of the Klan thanks negative Blacks for destroying the community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nskZM74NKkc  (at 4:30 mark)

I’d like to express our deepest gratitude at the destruction of the inferior n****r race, and I’m especially pleased to report that it’s destroying itself without our help. To all you gangs, hoodlums, drug pushers and users, and other worthless n-ggers killing each other, we’d like to thank y’all for saving us the time, trouble and legality for the final chapter of ridding y’all off the face of the earth. Your solution to our problem is greatly appreciated. So keep selling us your soul. Thank yuh

It turns out P.E. was correct in creating Crosshouse because certain elements of the community have us on self-destruct mode and hip hop music often glamorizes these elements.  That glamorization isn’t necessarily a problem for the strong, grounded and well-balanced. But, folks who are weaker, people with questionable home training and unfortunately people who raised themselves (the half-raised) will be influenced by the street from these lyrics and hypnotic beats.

Club friends: In homes where youth are trained with deliberation, kids learn the levels of friendship because some people allow kid’s exposure to explicit activities before middle school.  A young adult can kick it on the dance floor with wild friends but coming over to the table and hanging outside the club is a different matter.  To cut to the chase, some folks take sub-cultures created by music (gangster rap, heavy metal, goth) too far.  The artist themselves will admit that much of the image is pure fantasy but some people get wrapped up.

So, parents are teaching one thing and the hipsters on the corner are teaching something else.  Dam, the lyrics said this would happen.  Not a problem…just fire up a phat blunt and tune those haters out.

Solutions: We must have an honest and frank discussion about music and cultural decisions and possible impacts on individuals, the community and the nation. Paul from the Bible wrote a righteous second letter to the church at Thessalonica.  I should have been reading this in my youth rather than listening to the same rap cds over and over but that rap had a message.

2nd Thessalonians 3:10-15 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that any would not work, neither should he eat.  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing.

And if any may obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 

Yes, we still love our wayward brothers and sisters including those of other colors. But if you are recreationally wreaking the community, I don’t too much mess with you—the disorderly need to get on the right path.  When people in old age look back at their lives, they often find that they were their own worst enemy and some of the people they chose to be around brought drama and struggle into their world.  The soundtrack to that drama might have been questionable music.

Since I got a little too preachy, I would finish this writing by saying thank heaven for the positive cool rappers of my youth—Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Brand Nubian, Rakim. I shouldn’t leave out the educational messages from rougher rappers like Tupac, Biggie and N.W.A. because Ice Cube was a poet before he became America’s dad.  See, people grow up and the sooner that happens, the better you will be.  The following are examples of the rap that I loved in the past and you should notice that rap from the 80s and 90s often sampled 60s and 70s R&B music.  That’s called respect.

P.E.- Shut em Down        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wOcOBjB3uU

LL Cool J – The Breakthrough      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0mk_RgA8-0&list=RDN0mk_RgA8-0

See, I fought with the devil, made a promise to God
I have experience in goin’ all the way to the top
It’s harder harder than hard all the suckers are barred
You used to try to talk down now your ego is scarred

See the problem is you want what another man has
His car, his wife, or his razzamatazz
But that’s weak, you gotta do work on your own
‘Cuz when you’re rich you got friends but when you’re poor you’re alone
So get your own on your own, it’ll strengthen your soul
Stop livin’ off your parents like you’re three years old
Instead of walkin’ like you’re limp and talkin’ yang about me
Why don’t you take your monkey-ass and get a college degree?

Or write a rhyme and ride a bike and try to live carefree
Hope my message reaches you before you’re seventy-three
A old man, when people ask you what you did with your life
You’ll say “I hated L.L. and I carried a big knife”
Brand Nubian- Slow Down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAvetlQbrA8

Public Enemy – Brothers Gonna Work It Out  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHxkPNx23Og

Eric B and Rakim – Move the Crowd     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyl_j0g9AwU

Gang Starr – Jazz Thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is5xMd1nT5o

Guru – No Time To Play         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09WzUhMZmFo

Brandy – I Wanna Be Down (Remix) (feat. Mc Lyte, YoYo & Queen Latifah  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LthQLQMilvo

2Pac – Keep Ya Head Up  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfXwmDGJAB8

2pac – I Ain’t Mad At Cha       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt1XjVdyJ6o

The Notorious B.I.G. – “Juicy”                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JZom_gVfuw

3rd Bass “Pop Goes The Weasel”      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzXI_ApY4dY

MC Hammer – Pray   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xNSgBkum7o

MC Hammer – Turn This Mutha Out  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74OBaLLi3tY

Grandmaster Flash- The Message     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4o8TeqKhgY

Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lDCYjb8RHk

Afrika Bambaataa – Looking for the Perfect Beat  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RJlYzBhLg4

OutKast – Player’s Ball            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFofKGKlWo4

Ludacris ft Field Mob & Jamie Foxx-Georgia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZW_VgFXm_w

Master P “Make’em Say UGH” ‌‌https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5ZvzIOO6aU

House Of Pain – “Jump Around”        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZaz7OqyTHQ

RUN DMC HARD TIMES      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO2cakSiqDQ

Self Destruction          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxyYP_bS_6s

NEWCLEUS – JAM ON IT     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEmg5GaAHbk

De La Soul – Me, Myself And I           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJEzEDMqXQQ

Pete Rock & CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BONgL61snlM

A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6oO-1iWc1c

De La Soul “Buddy” ‌‌   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F69dt5clGPo

Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9F5xcpjDMU

Digable Planets – Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM4kqL13jGM

Arrested Development – Tennessee  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VCdJyOAQYM

PM Dawn – Set A Drift On Memory Bliss      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5lByFc7HiM

Queen Latifah ft. Monie Love – Ladies First   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLB5bUNAesc

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keep-calm-and-love-boondocks

The Boondocks T.V. show theme song starts with a righteous Bible quote.  Who knew?  People who paid better attention in church knew. Psalm 118:22 says “The stone that the builder refused (rejected) has become the corner stone.”   In Matthew 21:42 “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Of course, Jesus was referring to the world’s coming rejection of him.  The Boondocks rapper is referring to  Blacks treatment in America.  I love these verses because we all have people in our families who favor some and reject others.  I would be sitting in a glass corner office of an Atlanta law firm today if college money was divided fairly among kids in my family but why cry over spilled milk.

We still have family members who turn their noses up at blood…at kids mind you.  In Matthew 20:16, Christ said “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called but few chosen.”  Of course, you need to cut family and old friends off when they are bringing everyone around them down and they refuse to hear and act on wise counsel.  I want to live long enough to see which kids will be wildly successful.  It might be the ones whose characters was tempered by adversity like the “niggers’  of old and not like the modern day “niggas.”

I am 50 years old and the America of my youth isn’t the America of today.  The N-word is used constantly on Boondocks but liberals on MSNBC can’t tell me what to say and hear.  The lovely actress Regina King voices both kids on the show and if she is cool with the context I am too because she has a gold-plated hood pass from being on 227 and Boyz In the Hood.

Boondocks Theme Song – Asheru

I am the stone that builder refused

I am the visual

The inspiration

That made lady sing the blues

 

I’m the spark that makes your idea bright

The same spark

that lights the dark

So that you can know your left from your right

 

I am the ballot in your box

The bullet in your gun

The inner glow that lets you know

To call your brother son

The story that just begun

 

The promise of what’s to come

And I’m ‘a remain a soldier till the war is won

 

Wow, this educated lyricist hit hard with “I am the ballot in your box…the bullet in your gun.”  On some level, Black youth seem like the rejected stone that could be the cornerstone.  In politics and policy, leaders make decision with little consideration of large segments of the population.  We can’t grow as a nation if the troubled 20% continue to be a drain of resources and counterproductive.  In reality, everyone can’t be on top—someone has to lose.  But, the playing field must be fair so every kid has an equal shot.

The geniuses behind Boondocks design the show to provoke thoughts about the Black man in America.  The grandfather is a veteran of the civil rights movement who moved his grandsons to the Boondocks for a better quality of life.  Of course, suburbia has problems also.  It’s the same old story about Blacks struggling to get our slice of the American pie.

So, I am watching a documentary on corn on the History Channel and I couldn’t stop thinking about the development of this crop compared to the development of people.  Corn is genetically engineered to improve; it’s a hybrid.  Heterosis, hybrid vigor or outbreeding enhancement is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring.  An offspring exhibits heterosis if its traits are enhanced as a result of mixing the genetic contributions of its parents.

On Boondocks, Riley and Huey are brothers but they are heading in different life directions—one intellectual progressive and one thug.   Inside Black America, am I the only person concerned that we are breeding the worst elements with each other and therefore creating a hybrid screw-up?  How many Black professionals have only one child or none and how many troublemakers have a house full of future troublemakers.  In a free society, we can’t stop people from breeding with whomever they chose but still…dam.

Republicans can say this and Democrats can say that but improving Black America starts with listening to people like Colin Powell as he softy pushes the West Indian sensibility of his upbringing.  Yea, many of the Blacks from the Caribbean are more success than other Black Americans because they don’t play with education, family association and generational development. You just don’t come into their families and get teens pregnant with careless disregard.

On the documentary about corn, they state that heterosis creates hybrids that are better than they parents.  With people, I call that moving forward.  Are we looking at a generation of Black Americans who are inferior to their parents?    As the last line in the Boondocks theme says, I am going to remain a soldier until the war is won.  The question is where the battlefield is and who the real enemy is.

 

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Greed+WEB

Big Business (BB) runs America and the politicians are really their public servants.   The agenda of BB is making money and they don’t care who gets trampled in the process.  For example, the hip hop/bling bling culture seems natural or organic but BB is the wizard behind the curtain.

So, kids will kill each other over sneakers but these youth aren’t on the varsity.  They play sports on video games while kids in other parts of the world are preparing for the changing global economy.  We are not talking about the greatest generation that won the second World War or their children who pushed social justice in the 60s and 70s.  The kids today often seem like rebels without causes.  They will die defeating blocks and neighborhoods they don’t own.

$200 Gym Shoes

$300 Handbags with $10 cash inside

$2000 Rims on $900 cars

$100 Plain White T-shirt

And corporate executives laugh all the way to the bank.  The so-called ballers in music rarely own a recording company; they simply own record labels that are subdivisions of companies.  If the real money is in branding and merchandising, the hip hop guys (Jay-Z, Kanye, 50 Cent) are designers who make some good money but they don’t own factories that manufacture clothes in their old neighborhoods.  Master P from New Orleans is the main hip hop mogul who owned a record company and envisioned actually pressed the cds in his own plant.  Most of the others still have a plantation mentality and they aren’t the ones in the really big house.  I have never worn a chain—wrought iron, silver or gold.

The central theme of this blog post is that companies push a hip hop culture in which youth want to be hard, street and thuggish.  The youth are then untrained, unemployable (face tattoos) and unaware.  So, kids who want the most expensive items are least prepared to legally afford said items.  Some (not all) of these young people ended up wasting their lives away but they turn to the government for help in providing for their families.  The corporate agenda becomes a costly governmental expense.

“They are hiring at the fast food joints and those farmers need help harvesting their produce.”  Are you kidding me?  The kids from the hip hop culture don’t do work like that – it’s beneath them.  You can’t pop bottles of $300 champagne in the club with those wages.  Unfortunately, some youth turn to getting paid the fast way—ski mask way as Biggie rapped.

Now, those youth are in the prison system at an annual cost that is more than teachers, soldiers and policemen earn.  Oh, there are corporations running those facilities also.

 

In summary, we need elected officials who spend time explaining the limited role government to the people.  And yes, the liberals don’t seem to understand that there isn’t some big never-ending pot of money.   “The government should make sure everyone has a good house, a good car and a well-stocked frig”  That life would be socialism in theory.  We live in a democracy—your standard of living should be directly related to your actions.  Current lawmakers need to spend half of their time as law/budget explainers.  Oh, the corporations are the produce the campaign contributions that keep politicians in office.

I might be wrong but this is the beginning of debate we should have.

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This election year is an important opportunity to change the mindset of policymakers and citizens.  Most elections aren’t contested and seem more like coronations.  But, fighters should continue to fight the good fight because the stakes are so high.  We should use the debates and campaigns as platforms to unveil new and better approaches to old problems and situations because status quo simply isn’t working.

Status quo:  To me, status quo with candidates, political parties and policymakers involves the far Right telling everyone what they should do as you would address children and the far Left trying to help everyone with their problems after the problems occur.

Solution:  We need lawmakers  and policy makers who speak clearly and frankly to the people about the role of government and about personal choices, decisions, and consequences.  We need a fresh and different mindset about how we carry ourselves.  “Carry ourselves” is old school Black heritage; it harkens back to the days when we knew who we were and whose we were; times when Black people sought the opportunities to achieve and strive without encumbrances. Today, many of our encumbrances and obstacles are self-made.

Most politicians know that their abilities to improve our nation are limited by reality and fiscal constraints but those so-called leaders are reluctant to say that.  Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and Obama basely said the same thing: ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for this country; government is the problem.  Some might be surprise that I put President Obama on that list but I think he is a “do for self” person who is hamstrung by party politics.  The post-presidential Obama will be so beneficial to the spirit of this blog post.

The good fiscal news is that my solutions are free, cheap or low-cost.  It’s all about K.S.A.  Oldheads will remember that Knowledge, Skills and Abilities requirements were once part of the federal government employment application process. But, I still think in terms of young people getting knowledge from those who went before them, developing skills to function smoothly in life and understanding their God-given abilities.  Politicians and candidates always speak to youth about soaring like eagles and bla bla bla—there is plenty of that “wind beneath my wings” talk out there.

But, it’s time for some substances…some tools….some meat.  I wrote a blog post years ago called “A and B before C and D” that asked leaders to encourage if not demand that government spend more resources and energy preventing problems and life crisis than addressing the growing numbers of people with messy situations.  To be honest, most people with troubled lives walked right into their circumstances.  Did momma, daddy, school, church, friends and the police beg them to get on the right track?

(Here is the part when a moderate Democrat admits that the conservatives are right about something.) You almost want to say forget them; they made their beds when they ignore the warning and stop signs.  But, you can’t because idly watching human suffering isn’t very Christ-like.  What about 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

U.S. Congressman and Senate candidate Jack Kingston is one of my favorite lawmakers.  I kicked it with Jack at a RNC Club one night for 15 minutes alone 20 years ago and he outlined his career-long efforts to advocate for Southeast Georgia.  It blew me away to learn that Kingston wants to consider having kids who eat free school lunch clean the school or cafeteria to pay off their tab or whatever.  Come on, Jack…that’s jacked up.  I think Jack is really thinking that parents without lunch money for their kids should be shamed into going to work…. “get off your fat behinds and provide for yours.”  What ticks off reasonable people are the fact that people who need help are sometimes the same people who are too good and too proud to flip burgers or harvest vegetables.

We are approaching this wrong.  We must find a positive way to encourage personal responsibility and achievement.  To be honest again, leaders need to speak knowledge and wisdom to help replace the home training that isn’t taking place anymore.  At the same time, that old school home training needs to take place and young people should delay starting families until they have themselves together.  The writers of this blog welcome the opportunity to talk with any campaign staffers seeking to mix our thoughts and ideas into their approaches.

And the first mindset change involves video games and hip hop music.

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To me, video games and hip hop music are eroding the foundation of my community.  What are we going to do about it?  First, I love art and hip hop, like blues and jazz, is an original American art form.  When the kids on the corners and in basements in Brooklyn and the Bronx created rap, it was a creative way to express themselves.  Later, rap music was medium to communicate concerns about inter-city life and issues with the police in places like Los Angeles.

But, I draw the line with NWA, Ice Cube, Easy E, Dr. Dre and Tupac.  Those guys were urban poets who use lyrics to reflect hardship and pain.  The hardest segment of current hip hop is glamorizes and promote thuggish ways.  The little fellows want to be thugs and prisoners more than scholars and businessmen and the teen girls are setting the women’s liberation movement back twenty years.  Hey, I guess liberation includes the right to be a garden tool who emphasizes body over heart and mind.

Dig it; the inmates are running the asylum literally and smart kids are acting dumb just to fit in.  Students study English in school but use this street dialect at all other times.  While the hippies of the 1960s were a counterculture, the hip hop culture is at the rotten roots of much of the main culture today—Black, White, Red and Brown.

What about Yellow?  Our friends in the Asian community have a long history of requiring obedience and achievement from their youth.  Yes, the hip hop culture is in their community as well but let us lighten the discussion by humorously looking about the effect of video games on American youth.

In school, we learned that parts of Asia were once forced to import opium from the British and Americans after the drug was illegal at home.  Well, the big payback might be video games.  While these games are enjoyable, American kids and young adults are playing them too much; playing games while youth in other parts of the world are preparing for the next wave in the international commerce and technology.  When a kid grows up on the flashy visual stimulant of video games, holding their attention in school or church becomes difficult if not impossible.  And no, the solution shouldn’t be making education more video game-like.

From church to karate to fishing to boot camp on Parris Island, young people need to learn to calm down and focus.  Church kids, eagle scouts and kids with chores do better in life.  Look, sophisticated people have different modes because they vibe differently at different times—church mode, school mode, vacation mode, chilling with my crew mode, family mode.  The worst kids have little flexibility because they are primarily in me mode.  They must learn selflessness and a sense of community.

Most importantly, they must learn to be deliberate in their actions.  Life plans must include short-term objectives and long-term goals.

 

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In the rap classic “Fight the Power,” Chuck D said, “Gotta give ‘em what they want…gotta give ‘em what they need.” In this country, what we want isn’t necessarily what we need e.g. slavery, Jim Crow, clear cutting forest, robbing of Indians, child labor, the defense industrial complex, lifetime public assistance, fast food.

It is time for my annual venting blog post about a hodgepodge of subject relating to me being right and the status quo being clearly wrong.

Liberals: Heaven knows the left means well and their general thinking seems rooted in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.  However, long-term assistance can create a segment of the public that is weak—always looking for help from others rather than developing the ability to provide for self.  President Reagan was right about that; government is the problem.  We need to create a climate where every kid has a fair shot at learning and growing in a career field.  Failure wouldn’t be tough luck; it would be the result of being out worked.

Conservatives: My biggest problem with my conservative friends is that their plans for all Americans generally don’t involve all Americans in the discussions.  I will admit that much of their core agenda is sound but they want to force feed corrective policies—as if the rest of America is their children.  They simply don’t listen to anyone unlike them and that is a big mistake.  If they did listen, they would discover that most Black southern voters are more conservative than liberal.  Most rural Blacks hate the welfare state created my government and if the leaders of the civil rights movement from the 1950s and 1960s could see us now, they would say this wasn’t the plan.

Conservatives vs. Black nationalists: Are you kidding me!  The idiots on right wing radio and Fox News who demonized Rev. Jeremiah Wright blew a great opportunity to improve America.  President Obama needs Wright in his corner because Wright and nationalists are throwbacks to those who hate governmental involvement in our daily lives.  Uncle Sam isn’t your daddy and surprisingly Clarence Thomas is the man who is most like Wright (pun intended.)  I loved the book Justice Thomas wrote about his grandfather’s life skills.  Once and for all—the conservative movement should create a relationship with the Black pride movement because these two groups’ messages of personal responsibility are the same.

Hip Hop Culture: While I respect artistic freedom, the current rap culture is detrimental to all youths.  For us, rap reflected urban life but those suffering wanted better for their families.  Today, “good kids” idolize thugs, pimps, bangers and dealers.  When I am on a college campus, I can’t tell the students (budding professionals) from common thugs and strippers.  In my day, we call those stupid high heels “come f me” pumps. When women ruin their feet, legs and backs from those shoes, Obamacare shouldn’t cover them because dumb is a preexisting condition.

President Obama’s Vision: While I love President Obama, I need to get Nixon-like for a second and make one thing perfectly clear.  Obama vision for what America should be isn’t the reality of what America is.  Is that the role of a president—to imagine what we should be and push toward that goal (FDR, Kennedy, Lincoln.)  I just feel puzzled sometimes when the president says “we are better than that…we are fair…we are pure hearted.” No brother Obama,  “you” are those things while most of us are a mess and a trip.  His family raised a wonderful person but some of the things at the top of his agenda have regular folks scratching our heads.  But, he is still my guy.

Schemes and Games: Theoretical people like me are often broke while hustlers stay paid with schemes and games.  We have hustlers on my street and hustlers on Wall Street.  It is now and has always been a dirty game and the simple rule of the game is to get and stay paid.  I think most of official Washington today is driven by the desire to stay paid rather than the hope of a better America.  Liberals don’t recognize that throwing taxpayers’ money at problems isn’t helping and ultra conservatives don’t realize that the tough boy approach isn’t working.

Silent Majority: I still believe that most Americans are good people who are put-off by drama coming out of Washington and the state houses. Jon Huntsman, Condi Rice and others seem as pure-hearted as me. When we get about the business of having a national effort to improve this great country from the bottom up, you should join us.

I will end this rambling blog post by highlighting the parts of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” that we loved in the pol sci department of my black college.  Those lyrics are timeless.

Fight the Power–Public Enemy

[Intro]
Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight. As a matter of fact, it’s safe to say that they would rather switch than fight.

[Verse 1]
1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hitting your heart cause I know you got soul
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you’re missing y’all
Swinging while I’m singing
Giving whatcha getting
Knowing what I know
While the Black bands sweating
And the rhythm rhymes rolling
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

[Hook]
Fight the power
We’ve got to fight the powers that be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj9SeMZE_Yw

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Derrick_E__Grayson

I came across Derrick Grayson, a U.S. Senate GOP candidate from Georgia, on Peach Pundit blog last week and this guy’s logic was refreshing. As a moderate, I can be easily put off by angry talk from conservatives but Grayson sounds familiar.

 
After a few days, it came to me; I remember the two places where I heard Grayson’s approach.   First, he sounds like Clarence Thomas’ grandfather.   Justice Thomas wrote a book about his grandfather’s distain for governmental involvement in people’s lives.   The book showed me that Thomas and his grandfather were simply old school—they came from the pre-LBJ period when our community was more about achievement and hard work than searching for government money.   That money actually made us softer.

 
The second place where I have heard discussions like Grayson was in the barber shops of my youth.   Those shops were much more than grooming centers—no, wait- they were grooming centers.   They groomed young men on how to be upright walking men.   The classes weren’t formal but we heard real talk about life, family, church and work.   You also were charged with moving the community forward.   As Colin Powell said, “We need to reinstitute the concept of shame.”

 
In those barber shops, men didn’t walk with the heads up if they weren’t doing everything they legally could to care for their current families and honor their birth families.   A wild theory might contend that home haircuts and growing out hair for braids has reduced those trips to the barber and therefore our young men are getting the information that supplements home training elsewhere.   I thinking that “elsewhere” is from the hip hop culture that glamorizes thug life and laughs at hard work.   When I worked in the barber shop on South Main Street in my hometown, I knew I was going to hear about my good and/or bad “street committee” regarding how I was carrying myself.   “What is this I hear about you…”

 
That Derrick Grayson seems like Neil from those Matrix movies.   Could he be the “one” who starts the conservation that bridges old school Blacks with the next generation—the one who is more interested in improving our condition by simply telling the truth about the limited role of government in our lives than personal fame?

 

 
The U.S. Senate is the most exclusive fraternity in America and it is rare for someone to enter before serving on a lower level or in the U.S. House.   But, boy on boy, he is one Black Republican who has a message than we need to hear.   He could get load of votes not in his capacity as a GOPer but in his capacity as a common sense fellow.    We should keep an eye on his guy.

 

 

http://www.grayson2014.com/issues_home

 

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