Thursday, April 2, 2009

My God, My God, What In The Hell Is Going On???

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article on the Pope’s first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa. The highlight of his visit was his decision not to lift or even soften the Vatican's ban on condom use for people living in the region – a region where the AIDS crisis is worse than any other region in the world. The article was entitled, “Pope Visits Africa, Reaffirms Ban on Condoms”. The more I reflect, the more I think that the article should have been titled, “Pope Visits Africa, Commits Genocide.”

Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2007 and approximately 1.9 million additional people were infected with HIV during that year. In just the past year, the AIDS epidemic in Africa has claimed the lives of an estimated 1.5 million people in the region. More than eleven million children have been orphaned by AIDS.1

Mr. Pope, what have you done?

Are you that disconnected from the realities of this world that you would make such a decision? Or, do you know, but just don’t care? Is your religion more important than human lives? C’mon Mr. Pope. Grow up!! This is about more than doctrinal beliefs on pre-marital sex. This is about so much more than just ‘strapping up’. Instead of banning the use of condoms, which in a sense has become the band-aid used to cover up larger issues relating to the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, how about speaking out against and trying to eliminate rape in regions such as the Congo, which not only demoralizes the women of Africa, but is a spreader of the disease. How about speaking out against the genocide in Rwanda - another region where rape is prevalent and used as a tool to control the weak and powerless. And how about using some of the money that the Vatican is sitting on to fund programs in African regions that provide health care and treatment for those who are both affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Pope, you went to Africa to speak. And you have spoken. But what were you really saying? Were you saying that the lives of Africans are not worth being preserved and are secondary to preserving religious doctrine?

Mr. Pope, you went to Africa to connect with your people, and in doing so, you committed one of the most deadly acts that one can commit against humanity, murder. And remember….thou shall not kill.

And what really perplexes me, is that while you, Mr. Pope, used your authority to commit an act of murder against African people, the rest of the church (universal) remained silent. As much as this is your fault, Mr. Pope, I dare say that you are not the only one to blame. Maybe it is true that we have become so blinded by religion and have become so heavenly minded that we do no earthly good at all?

My God, my God, what in the hell is going on?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

OUT FROM THE GLOOMY PAST.....

I still have yet to bring myself to the point where I can put to words my feelings about what America witnessed last night. I mean, prior to last night, I shared the lament of the prophet Habakkuk...where he cried out to the Lord:How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed,and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous,so that justice is perverted.

But last nights Kairos Moment, which manifested itself in the form of a black man becomming President of these "yet to be united" states of America caused me to believe all the more, and cling ever more fervently to the Lord's answer to Habakkuk which said, "Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told."

WOW! I mean, this is why I love God SOOO much.

I still share in Habakkuk's lament concerning the conditions under which his people suffered, and still under which some of our people suffer, at the hand of injustice...but after last night, all I could do was sit and theologically reflect on the paradoxical nature of God, in that who God 'IS' may very well to some seem contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth (HOPE) and two, the paradoxical works of God, where in what one thinks is meant to hurt and harm, actually has the ability to benefit and bless. (YES WE CAN - in spite of!!)

OMG - If my tears could talk........but for now, I'll just hum the words written by James Weldon Johnson in the Black National Anthem...

Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise,
High as the list'ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast'ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee,
Shadowed beneath thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Things that make you go, 'hmmmm'.....

Okay, so its been a while since I have had the time, or shall I say, since I have made time, to write a blog.

Why is it, that when

Things

Sarah Palin
Do you understand that how your being used as a pawn in the McCain chess game? He doesn't think your qualified. He thinks of you as an

your not being qualified for this assignment are really not q

I swear, I think if I had lived in the 60's I woulda been a Black Panther.....as for now, I'll just stick to that of a Tempered Radical

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shak on Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright...

Shak on Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright...


One of my friends asked me today what my views were on the comments that Dr. Wright made in the sermons that were misused by the media this past week.

First, let me start by saying that the recent attacks by the media on Dr. Wright has left me feeling, on the one hand, even more compelled, using Dr. Wright as an example, to further speak out against the injustices that many face while living in these "yet to be united States of America". On the other hand, the recent media attacks on Dr. Wright has left me with a outright anger - so much so that I have been tongue tied in effort to refrain from using some of the more descriptive words that have been embedded in my vocabulary. In other words, this is enough to make a preacher cuss FOR REAL!

As it further relates to the media frenzy on Obama & Dr. Wright, I think that the media, Fox News in particular, is taking Dr. Wrights sermons out of context and using Dr. Wright as a pawn...a mere tool to sabotage Obama’s campaign. And those that are trying to sabotage Obama’s campaign are showing their true colors, because the truth of the matter is...regardless of what any "poll" says; the conservative, right wing, racist elitist that run America are not ready to see a "black" man in the "white" house. Don’t get it twisted!

I know Pastor Wright. I have had the privilege of knowing him and learning from him for the past 7 going on 8 years. And he is not the monster that they are making him out to be. He is a really cool dude and a prophet IN THE REAL SENSE, preaching a social gospel of liberation for all who have been marginalized and oppressed. Which is so much more than what I can say for many of these preachers out here who call themselves "prophets". In addition, I find it very funny that when America wages an illegal war in search of oil disguised as a war terrorism on the basis of invisible weapons of mass destruction (because THERE WERE NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION), when America allows millions of children to go hungry - being the richest country in the world, - nobody sees anything wrong with it. It isn’t racism then. It isn’t classism then. It isn’t divisive then. It isn’t toxic then. Its’ right and justified. And then we slap God’s name on it to make everything "okay". While the entire world is suffering. AIN’T NO GOD IN THAT!!

But SOON AS a person, a black man in particular, has testicular fortitude to get up and speak truth to power on behalf of the "least of these"...all of a sudden its racism. I personally think that is a bunch of bulls____. (hint: the bible calls it "dung"!)

ANYWAY, what Dr. Wright said isn’t racism. It is TRUTH TELLING. The government is lying about 9/11. They know more than what they are admitting to. The government is lying about the levees in New Orleans. The government is lying about the war in Iraq. C'mon now...the art of war is deception (Sun Tzu) and most of the wars that America have waged were based in deception.

In addition, I think what the media is doing, is what they do best. HIDING the truth that is coming out of Dr. Wright’s words by attempting to refocus our attention from the real problems...which in the end leaves the initial injustice untouched. OMG Wake up!! It wasn’t the blind man who had the vision problem!!

As it relates to Hillary being called a nigger. Nobody ever "said" that Hilliary Clinton was truly called a nigger. And the point that I believe Dr. Wright was making with that statement was the fact that neither Bill nor Hillary are "black" (this was for those who claim they are because of what they did when they were in the white house). They have never experienced what black people have experienced in America. Hence, Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger. AND TRUST ME, IF SHE WAS..IT WAS MOST DEFINITELY WITH AN ’A’ and not an ’ER’ and used as a term of endearment.

The truth of the matter is, blacks have been done real dirty in America and yes, at some point, we, as a race will need to move on...but we are talking about more than the psychology of the oppressed here. It is hard to move on when the same stuff is happening - just in disguise.

I support Dr. Wright. And I don’t think that there are enough people speaking out from the pulpit or whatever your platform is about the injustices that many poor people face. I guess we have become so heavenly and "faith based" minded that we truly are no earthly good.

I’m done for now...

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Election 2008: A Black Man vs. a White Woman....

Election 2008: A Black Man vs. a White Woman....



Obama vs. Hillary has sparked a lot of interesting debate on the question: "Who do we vote for?"...especially among African American women.

The way I see it, African American women have one of the most daunting tasks in this upcoming election....because aside from having to decide on who we think is the best person is for the job.....we also have to decide whether our allegiance will be to gender or race.....because the reality of the situation is, more so than who can get the job done (because I believe they both are good candidates), this election...especially on the democratic side, is about gender and race.

This would be much easier, I believe, for African American women...if Obama were a white man going against a white woman.....because then the majority of us would vote "woman"....or if Hillary were a white man going against a black man...then the majority of us would vote "black"... (especially since they both have proven that they are 'electable')

But it is not that easy...so as an African American woman....what do you do?

And consequently, contrary to what many may say, I do not believe that Obama is any stronger than Hillary because he is a man or that Hillary is weaker than Obama because she cried and showed her humanness in New Hampshire. If a leader is passionate enough to cry then I am cool with that. I am sure Dr. King shed a tear or two in his day. And even Jesus wept.

So Black Woman...what do you do?

Do you vote for a woman because according to an email I previously read: "this will be our one and maybe only shot at the presidency of the USA."

Or do you vote for a black man because African Americans have withstood the test of time and have been strong since the beginning of time...without the glimpse of the 40 acre's or the mule....

Do you listen to the "experts" and vote for the person that will have the best chance of being elected president?

OR....do you really look at these "yet to be united states of America" and its history of violence, oppression, segregation and hate............and vote for the one among the two that you think will have the best chance at longevity once they are sworn into their position?

You know, I always said if I had an opportunity to ask Obama one question, that question would be...are you afraid of death?

Most people may not like the last question that I posed or what may come after but this is a very real question....

Behind the facade....America is still very much racist. George Bush ain't the only one that don't care about black people. We are no longer dealing with Jim Crow...we are dealing with his grandchildren....and great grandchildren...Jane and James Crow Esquire. James and Jane still, in a hidden/camouflaged more powerful way, carry out the work of their ancestor. Now, if James, Jane and Mr. KKK (lets not forget him) had their say (and they do), they and "America" at its best, would have a white woman instead of a black man as president any day. And would make sure that the later does not happen...by any means necessary.

In the words of Tupac..."although it seems heaven sent, we ain't ready to see a black president". ....well black people may be ready...but as for the rest of America, I am not so sure.

Think about it....

**Transferred from my Myspace Blog**

Thursday, November 29, 2007

FROM NIGGAS TO GODS

This is an old writing (Feb 2007)...but I decided to repost....

FROM NIGGAS TO GODS

On the cover of 2005's Black History edition of the ROC, was an article entitled "Nigger….Nigga….is there a difference?" which dealt with the question, "what does 'Nigga' really mean?" The article challenged different uses of the word, provided definitions and word associations for the word that were extracted from the "Museum of Racist Memorabilia" website, and ended with the challenge:

"… remember the ones who suffered and those who were hung and beaten and "NIGGER" being the justification of why they deserved such treatment. When we do this, we may want to think twice about our use of the word. I mean, yea, some THINK we are stupid and some SAY we are ignorant…but let us never be thought of, or classify ourselves as "NIGGERS."

In reflecting on what to include in this Black History edition of the ROC, I pondered the question, "what does black history really mean?" Does this generation really care about the sacrifices that were made by our ancestors? Do we use the past as motivation to make our present positive and our future promising? What does black history mean, aside from a month?......and then I reflected again on the word nigga and its relation to our existence.

If "nigga" is not a person but a state of mind or a mentality, does the hip hop generation willfully assume the racial stereotype of black people? And if so, what does that mean as we prepare to "celebrate" black history?

In his book "From Niggas to Gods", through a collection of essays written as a message to Black Youth, the author Akil argues that black youth have been brainwashed and made to think of themselves, and to operate as, niggas.

Nigga, as defined by Akil, is a "self-destructive, uncivilized state of mind that leads to a state of existence", which by the way, he says is "the state of mind and existence in which some of us now live". He goes on to ask, "How did we get here? We have not always lived within this state of mind. We once lived within a state of mind that produced supreme black excellence and supreme black genius."

After reflecting on Akil's words and looking at where we are as young African Americans, I could not help but to ask myself the same question: how DID we get here? People sacrificed their lives so that we would be free from slavery and oppression, so that we could have a better existence, and because of that we are free. That is what we are celebrating this month - our freedom. So why don't we act like free people? I mean, we are free now, right???

Yes, we are free, in the sense that we are not being physically chained anymore. But the only reason there are no physical chains is because the chains have outlived their purpose. In other words, as Carter G. Woodson said: "when you teach a man to think, you don't have to worry about his actions, he will find his proper place and stay in it". In other words, there is no need to physically chain you if your mind is still in bondage.

Think about it. Nigga is not black or white. But although you cannot physically be a nigga, mentally – it is a possibility.

Truth of the matter is, we were created in the image of God, however, the sad reality is, we no longer exist on the level of gods and goddesses. We now exist on the level of "niggas". As Akil put it, "we have been psychologically, biologically, and therefore spiritually reduced from 'Gods to Niggas' ". And our existence as niggas now begs the question: What would Dr. King say if he were here now?

The Boondocks, a TV series based on the comic strip, produced an episode, "Return of the King", which aired on the eve of the Martin Luther King holiday, showed the character Huey (a 10-year old black radical), imagining Dr. King surviving his 1968 assassination and emerging from a coma 32 years later, in the year 2000. Huey convinces Dr. King to start a "political party" and to reach out to the public again. So they call a meeting, and used a local hip hop radio station for publicity, however, the radio station misrepresented the purpose of the meeting, which resulted in dozens of young blacks arriving at the church, believing the meeting to be a "party" in the sense of a festivity.

As Dr. King took the podium to speak, he witnessed young African Americans dancing explicitly, fighting each other, etc. They were so into it, they completely disregarded the fact that Dr. King was speaking. Dr. King was so disturbed by what his people had become he began to talk saying: "Excuse me......Brothers and sisters please" However, no one listened. They just kept on partying. So King, out of frustration that the current generation of black people was acting out the racial stereotype finally spoke saying:

"Will you ignorant niggas please shut the h*ll up! Is this it? This is what I got all those a**whoopings for? I had a dream once, it was the dream that little black boys and little black girls would drink from the river of prosperity-freed from the thirst of oppression, but lo' and behold some four decades later what have I found, but a bunch of triflin', shiftless, good for nothin niggas. And I know some of you don't want to hear me say that word. It is the ugliest word in the English language, but that's what I see now, niggas. And you don't want to be a nigga.

'Cause niggas are living contradictions, niggas are full of unfulfilled ambitions, niggas wax and wain, niggas love to complain, niggas love to hear themselves talk but hate to explain, niggas love being another man's judge and jury, niggas procrastinate until it's time to worry, niggas love to be late, niggas hate to hurry...Black Entertainment Television is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life.....Usher, Michael Jackson is not a genre of music....and now I'd like to talk about Soul Plane..."


And then King finishes up, as the he has the crowds full attention, by saying:

"I've seen what's around the corner and I've seen what's over the horizon, and I promise you, you niggas have nothing to celebrate…"

Many people spoke out against this episode of the Boondocks. In fact, Al Sharpton demanded the writer of the Boondocks (an African American) issue a public apology for insinuating that Dr. King would make such a speech, especially using the word "nigga".

On the one hand, I agree with Al Sharpton. However, I believe the Boondocks depicted a realistic expression of the frustration that I am sure Dr. King, and everyone else who fought for justice and equality for our people, would have if they witnessed for themselves "how we livin' ".

Think about it. How much of that speech describes yourself? Are you living up to the dream of Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Malcom X, our ancestors who were slaves, and all the people who died trying to fight for African Americans to have better lives? Or are you operating with a "nigga-mentality", not taking advantage of opportunities because it will take too much work? Complaining about your grades in school when you do not put forth any effort? Living with a "don't care" attitude about yourself and the people around you? If the Boondocks speech or any of the above questions have you feeling convicted in any way, then I have to ask, what are you celebrating this black history month?

As you think on that question, I would like to leave you with another challenge. I challenge those of you who are operating with a "nigga-mentality" to do something that shows that you recognize the efforts of those who have paved the way for you. If it is a commitment to do better in school, make it and stick to it. If it is a commitment to a better relationship with God, make it and keep working towards your goal.

In your quest to be "hip hop", understand that hip hop is a state of being; while nigga is a state of mind and in order to transition back from "Niggas to Gods" we have got to stop thinking like niggas cause AIN'T NO GOD IN THAT!!

**Transferred from my Myspace Blog**

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

JENA AT COLUMBIA

JENA AT COLUMBIA

"Herein lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here in the dawning of the Twentieth Century. This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader; for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line." - W.E.B. Du Bois

These words were captured in W.E.B. Du Bois' book "The Souls of Black Folk" in 1903 and it bothers my spirit, that today, October 10, 2007, these words still ring true for blacks [and other people deemed 'colored'] in these "yet to be United States of America".

Yesterday, at the Teachers College of Columbia University racism reared its ugly (live) head by way of a noose hanging on the office door of an African American professor. The media and the university chose not to reveal the professor's name, however, students of the University identified the teacher as Professor Madonna Constantine, who works in the Psychological Counseling department and is known for her work on racism.

Professor Madonna Constantine

Here is an excerpt from the article out of the Columbia Spectator:

"All of her [Constantine's] work [on racism] is disregarded. She is just a black woman to them," Jasmine Alvarez, a representative to the University Senate, said.

Farrah Khan, a first-year student at TC and a member of the Black Student Network, indicated that the event had rocked the small TC campus. "I had a class at 5 and we talked about it for the whole two hours," Khan said. "The very moment that we say racism is far away, ... something like this happens. this is on our campus, here not at 116th, but on our campus." "As infuriating as it was, it was not a surprise," Khan said. This afternoon, e-mails were flying around student listservs under the heading "Jena at Columbia," referring to an incident which occurred last December in Jena, La., when white students hung nooses from a tree "which was typically a gathering spot for whites only"at Jena High School one day after six black students sat under it. Students planned to meet tonight at 9;30 in the Intercultural Resource Center on 114th Street to discuss reaction to the incident.

This comes less than two weeks after graffiti was found scrawled on the stall of a bathroom in the International Affairs Building which said, "Attention You pinko Commie Motherfuckers and Arab Towelheads: America will wake up one day and Nuke Mecca, Medina, Tehran, Baghdad, Jakarta, and all the savages in Africa. You will all be fucked! America is for White Europeans."


What is sadder than the punks who would rather hang a noose anonymously, are those people of 'color' who would part their lips to say that "racism is far away". Far away from where? Far away from whom? You can tuck racism far away in your mind all you want to but that does not negate the fact that we STILL live in an age where people are divided by race, class, gender and age - while the church, btw, remains spiritually disengaged.

W.E.B said "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the color line". Well, the problem of the Twenty First Century is THE COLOR LINE. And it will continue to be the problem as long as we continue this cycle of hate that has permeated our existence since the days of antiquity.

In the words of that great theologian Howard Thurman, hate "is death to the spirit and disintegration of ethical and moral values. Jesus rejected hatred. It was not because he lacked the incentive. It was because He saw that hatred meant death to the mind, death to the spirit, death to communion with God."

And no matter what religion you claim to be, in the words of Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., "God! Has got to be sick of this s***!"

The world as a whole is not in communion with God. This is evident every time someone hangs a noose from a tree or on the door to display their ugly regard for people of color. It is evident every time a person gets killed in Iraq while fighting a war over money, power and respect. It is evident every time Bush vetoes legislation that will provide our children heath care. It is even evident in the church.

Jena's are being carried out all over the world in many different forms and I can only imagine God now, looking down at us...shaking her head in awe of how we can't seem to learn from our past mistakes and thinking "Can't they see? Do they truly believe? Isaiah was right when he prophesied about them being hypocrites in Scripture when he said that they honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." "Happy is the day when they begin to feel me like Isaiah felt me. But until then........" (you fill in the blank).

(P.S. And for those of you saved, sanctified, fire baptized saints that are more offended by me quoting Dr. Wright than with the state of the world in which we live in today, my prayer for you is that you come from behind the veil of sanctification long enough for you to wake up and see what is really going on around you. Remember, it wasn't the blind man who had the vision problem.)


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