Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So I've Been Tagged

I got tagged by the Skinny Black Chick...

The rules of the game are:
A). Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog...
B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself...
C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs...
D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. I went through a period in college, where I was obsessed with the movie The Exorcist. Actually, the movie, the book, the screenplay and every little facet or detail I could gather from the internet. The very idea of demonic posession fascinated me and I needed to find out all I could about the origins, the myths, the makings and so on. I'm pretty much over that now.
  2. My eyes are lined up correctly. They are actually crooked. So to compensate, I have a tendence to tilt my head slightly to the left, which makes me feel straight. Even though I'm crooked.
  3. I love candied yams but I hate sweet potatoes! Ick! And I won't eat sweet potatoe pie either cause when you cut it, it has strings in it and I find that repulsive. As if its made of man-made material. Blech!
  4. I used to think Soul Train was filmed in Baltimore when I was little. It just looked so local. I also thought the video The Message by Grandmaster Flash was also filmed and about Baltimore. I thought it was filmed around the corner from me. It just looked like it.
  5. I never originally had ambitions or plans to go to college. My original plan was to move out to Beverly Hills at the age of 18 and somehow get 'discovered' walking down the street or something. Yeah I had it all planned out. I hate school, classrooms, teachers and learning. I was anti-school. But my guidance counselor talked me into it halfway through my senior year and I gave in and decided to give it a try. Glad I did.
  6. When I was little, I used to be afriad of the production taglines they used to show at the end of TV shows, like Paramount, Universal, MGM and so on. Don't know why, but I'd jump under my covers when they came on like an alien was trying to comunicate with me from the TV world. I dunno.
  7. Also when I was little, I used to get insanely jealous of kid actors who got to sing and dance on TV. Drove me mad that they had that opportunity that I didn't. I HATED all the kids in Kids Incoporated including that blonde girl, Stacey Ferguson, who is now known as Fergie from Black Eyed Peas (of which I'm a fan, love the CD). I just felt like they were flaunting my face that they were famous and on TV and I wasn't.

So there you go. You've learned more about me.

Cat, Black Milhouse, Mad Asian, Wander Woman, Long Beach Babe
Music Snob. Alright, that's all for now.

Aww, Isn't the Justice System Sweet?

I was watching Fox 45 this morning and they were talking about how some criminal was being released from prison early on account of good behavior.

I don't get that; releasing jailbirds early for "good behavior"?

I mean, if they were so well behaved to begin with,
they wouldn't have gotten locked up from the jump. Right?

Seems to me, that in certain cases, this would do an injustice to those who may have been wronged by this inmate. This reminds me of the case of murdered actress Dominique Dunne of Poltergeist fame who was strangled to death by her boyfriend. He was convicted on manslaughter charges and sentences to 6 and a half years in prison (which was way too lenient for me) but was released after just 2 years. Why? Why was that man given any special treatment? A woman lost her entire life and he was inconvenienced for only 2? Makes no sense to me.

But once again, it seems the criminal sometimes has more rights than the victims.

Gee, aren't they nice?
Ya'll ought to be so glad I'm not running things. It would be a horse of a helluva different color.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Even the So-Called Experts Don't Always Know

A few weeks ago, I had an incident with my car and ended up, almost in a ditch (another story). But I was fine, and so was my baby Honda. But it became so dirty, I decided to treat myself to a good car wash. Not the cheapo ones I'd been getting at the gas stations, but a full-fledged one, where actual humans wipe it off and make it shiny. It was also overdue since I hadn't had it done in over 6 months and I was concerned about my alloy wheels. Since, I so rarely get it professional washed and skip it altogether during the winter months, I'd developed a lot of brake dust, which I begun to worry had hardened and couldn't be removed.

So I go to the car wash (at Sparkle Car Wash on Reisterstown Rd.) and they do a good job, but they don't get most of the brake dust off. I ask them if there is anything more they can do to clean the wheels. The wheel guys use this cloth and try and wipe them more but its not coming off. The manager, probably thinking that I'm complaining comes over and asks if there is a problem. I explain that there isn't but I'm wondering if there is anything I can buy from the store that may help remove some of the brake dust. He hesistants, then tells me I might be able to find some cleaner from some auto store way down yonder somewhere but that brake dust like that won't really come off anymore. I ask, can I try something from Auto Zone (which is ONE block up the street), he mumbles a yeah, I guess you could. And I leave a tip and mosey on up there.

I go to Auto Zone, where they have a whole display of wheels cleaners and pick out a nice wheel brush. I go home, follow the directions and wouldn't you know it...not only did all the break rust come right off, but it looked better than what the guys at Sparkle had done. I then wondered why the manager at the car wash didn't know about this product, nor where they using it and just relying on some rags and water to clean alloy wheels. I mean Auto Zone was only the next block up; walking distance really. $9, 10 minutes of my time.

Anyhoo, I was glad I took matters into my own hands. Just goes to show that even the so-called experts don't always know what they're talking about.
Explore the world, find your own answers, I say!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why I Am Agnostic

2003, I discovered the term 'agnostic' and it was indeed an huge epiphany for me for I then realized that there was an actual word what my beliefs and that I wasn't alone. It was a great day. Since then, I've been pretty much "out" and vocal about my non-beliefs and my stance on it and hope, if nothing else to educate folks on it and hopefully kill some misconceptions about non-believers and enlighten them. Yes, there are non-believers who are black and young. No, we don't worship the devil. No, we have no trouble dating or making friends. And no, we are climbing in numbers.

So in short, I am agnostic and this is a few reasons why (and I really hope I don't lose friends or readers over this):

  • I don't believe in life after death. I don't believe anyone truly knows what happens after death so all is speculation. Without life after death, there is no need for salvation, a savior and the idea of judgement, heaven and hell or sin. I believe all living creatures are given one life with a beginning, a middle and an end. I believe the end is death, of which we'll all meet the exact same destiny; an eternal death.

  • I don't believe in the biblical god. I think its a completely man-made concept. I think its possible that there is an ultimate force that keeps everything in the universe aligned and balanced but I don't believe in an ultimate being whose image we'd been created in, watching over us, judging us, listening to and answering our prayers and putting specific care into our lives. I believe, in the vast great scheme of the universe, our mortal lives are pretty insignificant and we only believe it to be great because we have the ability to think and reason, ponder and speculate. Without this ability to think for ourselves, we'd be no different than animals. And there would be no religion.

  • I don't believe in the biblical Jesus Christ. I think there is a good chance that the entire nativity story is the greatest story ever sold. There are just too many holes in the story, and not enough evidence or first-hand witnesses. If there was such a person as Christ, I believe he was probably a normal, mortal who may have performed some good deeds, and for whatever reason, people chose to create a messiah out of him. I believe the biblical Christ to be a myth.

  • I don't believe in worship. I see no reason for it. What would be the point anyway? To create an entire species of living beings, then to to hold their dying devotion and gratitude to you over their heads for their entire lives so that they may get a chance to meet you one day? And if they don't, eternal damnation in the pits of hell? Where is the love there? I believe a loving being would not require ultimate devotion over any other thing to get love in return.

  • I don't believe in sin. It's a completely religious term to me and I believe it was created to regulate rules and instill fear in people to act "morally" based on morals set by a bunch of dead, white guys some eons ago. Half of those so-called sins are merely normal, human reactions. I don't need anyone to define right and wrong for me. I was taught by my parents, I can observe for myself and decide for myself, what it right or wrong.

  • I don't believe the bible is the word of god or that any god had anything to do with it. It was written by man, in a successful attempt (in my eyes) to scare the shit out of people to act a certain way. A way, in which the writers deem acceptable. It is not my way. Or even one way. It is merely the ideas of a group of white men, who have passed it on as divine words. And people have chosen to follow it.

  • I don't believe ANYONE knows how we got here, what the meaning of life is and what happens after we die. No the preachers, theologists, the Pope, nuns, deacons, ministers, none of them. I believe ALL religion to be theories and the theory of a god unknowable. I don't believe there is really anyway to prove or disprove a god, but all theories point to a no, for me. At least not in the neat definitions defined by religious heads.

  • I can't put my faith into any religion. I believe that if there was a god, Jesus Christ, trinity or what have you, it would not require faith for its existence, it would be concrete like the air we breathe, the sun that rises and sets daily, the water we need for our bodies, the gravity to hold the earth's possesions together etc. It would be an absolute, positive truth that did not rely on belief. IT WOULD BE FACT. And you dont have to believe in facts. They just are. Think about it. If you were a god and created an entire planet and species of living beings, would you not have concrete proof of your existence? Would there be only speculation about you? If you have omnipotent power, how would you allow it to be that there is no real, hard trace of your existence? Why would you allow people to come up with their own conclusions knowing that over half will get it wrong, that there ignorance will spread and spin-off theories and beliefs might prevail. What if everyone has it wrong. Would you want them to know, particularly if their souls depended on it, the right way?? Would you remain silent, allowing them to decipher your messages through vague signs?? I believe there would be NO speculation if this were real. There would be ONE WAY and it would be irrefutable. I mean we would be talking about the creator of the entire universe!

  • I believe what people refer to as a 'soul' is also a myth. Obviously, if we really did have souls that lived on after our bodies died, we'd need for it to go somewhere and that is where salvation comes in. But I highly doubt it. I believe what people call their soul is only their living consciousness and once the body, the heart and the brain has died, so has the consciousness. And the person does not actually live on, except within the vivid memories of their loved ones.

*sigh* I could go on, but this blog is lengthy enough. But I just wanted to get my general thoughts and ideas out there. But also say, you can be moral and good and just without worshipping a diety. I do understand why some choose to believe and understand how it gives them hope and fulfilment in their lives. I don't hate on them for it. But I hope they don't hate on me, because I've tried it and it did not work for me.

Instead I found peace of mind in knowing that this life is all I have and that my heaven and hell exists right here on earth. My choices and decisions can define my future and its really in my hands. I have to depend on me.

And that's good enough for me.

My Boycott of Soulja Boy

This had been buggin me for weeks as I can barely listen to the radio withou having to turn it completely off, which is beyond annoying. I wasn't even going to post this but my boy Rashard (Black Mihouse) then addressed it on his blog and made such a compelling point, I have to give love and support to it, because others really should read it.

Basically, he's just pointing how what a disgrace and embarrassment his song Crank Dat (Soulja Boy) is to our black community. I absolutely HATE this song and turn the radio off whenever it is played. It's one of the main reasons why I can't even stand the radio these days because I cannot understand why it passes for music and get so much airplay, particularly because it is so disgusting and degrading and sounds like PURE SHIT! I outright refuse to listen to anymore of this garbage!

I could go on, but Rashard put it much better. Check it out here:

Baltimore, One of the Ugliest Cities?

Fox 45 talked about the recent poll from Travel and Leisure which ranked the top 25 most attractive cities in the US and wondered why Bmore didn't make the cut. I say, are you surprised? This is an UGLY city! Look around, come on, ya'll know. I honestly think only about 15-20% of the general population here really gives a damn how they look and present themselves when they step out the door.

So then, they asked where would we rank and invited callers to call in. I would have but I was running late and had to jet. But if I had to guess, I'd say....out of 100? Hmmmm, maybe 40? 50? But is up there. I'm gonna be real.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

You Know You're at a Black Child's Birthday Party If...

1. Some of the guest didn't bring a gift, but brought extra uninvited kids.
2. The cake says "Happy Birthday Pookie" instead of the child's name.
3. The party is at Chuck E. Cheese, but they brought their own food, cake, etc.
4. It's a child's party, but there are more grown-ups than children.
5. It's De'Vonte's 1st Birthday, and the party food is BBQ and daiquiris.
6. Instead of playing pin the tail on the donkey, they have a "Back That Thang Up" contest.
7. They don't sing "Happy Birthday"; instead everyone is chanting "Go Man-Man, It's Your Birthday".
8. There are twenty kids at the party, but no parents (they got dropped off).
9. The party was over at 5:00; it's 8:00 p.m. and somebody's child is still there.
10. Instead of loot bags, the party favors are in Ziploc baggies.
11. The birthday cake is Red Velvet.
12. The invitations said "Pizza Party"; you get there and frozen Tony's Pizza is being served.
13. The host calls someone who's on their way and tells them to stop and get some ice.
14. The guests start arriving and the host disappears to get ready.
15. You buy some food stamps from your cousin to buy the party food.
16. You hear someone tell the birthday child, "I am going to get you something next week when I get paid."
17. The party wasn't planned – the birthday child just went outside and said, "Mama said I'm getting ready to have a birthday party, come on!"
18. You got a call on Friday night saying, "I am giving Ke-Shawn a birthday party tomorrow at 3:00."
19. All the kids at the party have on new clothes that they got just for the party.
20. None of the gifts are wrapped because the guest stopped by the store on the way to the party.
21. The gift is still in the store bag.
22. They don't serve punch, you get Kool-Aid and those store brand cheese puffs.
23. The Baby Daddy, the mama's boyfriend, and the mama's ex-boyfriend (the one the kid likes so much) are all there, and the child is calling them ALL "Daddy".
24. There are more family than friends at the party.
25. The birthday child is late to his/her own party because last night they spent the night with their cousin 'n’ em.
26. You have the party over your sister's because she just bought a new house.
27. The cake didn't come from the store, it came from "the lady who makes good cakes".
28. You have to hold on to the plate that you ate your food on to eat your cake.
29. Someone calls and says, "Save me some cake."
30. Guest are wrapping up cake to take to Mama 'n’ em.
31. It's a child's party, but there's a domino game in progress.
32. The baby daddy shows up with all his boyz and you start to fear that there will be a drive-by.
33. The party music is coming from the trunk of someone's car.
34. The Soul Train Line and Electric Slide get started.
35. You and your baby daddy get into an argument because he was supposed to chip in for the party but didn’t because he said, "You get child support, don't you!?!"

I'm sure this has been circulating hundreds of times already, but it still cracks me up!

Baltimore City Git Yo Shit Straight!!!

It's no goddamn wonder this city is so fucked up, they can't even process a goddamn parking ticket!

Back story, I got a parking ticket for being dumb enough to park in Federal Hill during a Raven's game (how about the stadium is not even close to Federal Hill but whatever). I promptly send in my check for $77 and some idiot collections data entry clerk endorsed the check but entered the wrong account number, so I continued to get repeated warnings and additional fines for close to ONE YEAR later! It took several calls before we finally got it straight and my check dated Aug 2006 was finally correctly applied in June 2007.

Fast forward now and I make the 2nd stupid mistake of parking in Federal Hill (damn you Fed Hill, I fucking hate you and I'm never parking there again!) Again for $77. I again, promptly send off my check through my bank's bill pay soon as I get it. One month later, I get a warning from the MVA stating that until that ticket is paid I can't renew my tags. Where the fuck is the first check! Oh, you guessed it, Baltimore City LOST IT! Yes they did! Cause Suntrust surely sent it out and I've never had any problems with them sending out checks before. So now Bmore City has lost another payment and my fines are continuing to go up! And now my tags and registration are expired!

So after I then get in the mail notice of my flag fees from the MVA for this ticket and THE ONE FROM LAST YEAR, I give in and pay everything online, thinking that would actually clear everything. I then go to renew my tags. Guess what! The MVA still has me as having an unpaid violation cause the stupid fucking Baltimore City website also still has my ticket as open and outstanding. WHY? Cause, as the website states, it could take up to 3 WEEKS TO PROCESS PAYMENTS ONLINE.Perturbed


Why the FUCK does it take 3 weeks to process a payment online? Wouldn't that be faster than mailing ina love check? Cause I've been paying my Verizon, Comcast, Citibank, American Express, student loans, BGE and everything else online and it gets processed immediately! Tell me why, Baltimore City, a government which handles important shit that can effect your car's registration has implemented an online payment systen that works so fucking shittily that payments aren't processed automatically! Can someone explain this disgraceful system of screwing people over!
Computer Smash
And I don't give a shit if I get pulled over, that cop will hear my mouth cause I have done everything I'm suppose to do including making not one but TWO payments and here I stand with NO FUCKING TAGS!

And I'm suppose to "BELIEVE" in this city. Get your shit straight Baltimore! How hard is it to have a working payment system the hell down there??? And I will print this blog and mail it to the Director of Finance down there and I should copy it to Mayor Dixon too. They are so damn happy to take the money but don't even know how to process it.

Get it together!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Jena Backlash (sorry, its long)

This article was emailed to me by a good friend (head nod to Brotha Lee!) and I had to stop and read the whole thing. He warned not to get upset at first and he was right because while the author definitely digs into our (meaning black folks) ish about playing the victim role, which I realize is upsetting to some, I had to admit, she also made some damn, good, hard points and I can't say I disagree with her. There are things I don't agree with but most, I do.

Attached is the full article and link. Highlighted are the points that hit home with me and that I agree with. It is goos sometimes to stop and look at ourselves and see how others view us and what can be done to improve our issues. I hate to sound like I'm also coming down on blacks but I still feel like we, as a people, need to STEP UP. In relation to this particular case, I'm going to say that the dealings with the Jena 6 are all fair but I do think that as a black person in American, we ought to be really, really watching what we are doing and how we are going to be perceived and prosecuted when these things happen before, it gets to that point. A black person beating up a white person. Who would have thought the penalties would be so harsh? I did. And yeah, the school system didn't do all they could for those black students but I think youngsters needs to understand, we as blacks may not face the same justices as whites or whomever. And as long as we're not running the legal system, we really need to watch and consider everything freaking we do!

The Jena Backlash
Heather Mac Donald
24 September 2007

Let’s assume the worst about Jena, Louisiana, and the charges of attempted murder brought against five black youths for beating a white student unconscious last December: that the district attorney’s indictments were motivated by rank racism, and that the racial tensions in this town of 3,000 are exclusively the product of white animus against blacks. Does it follow that this latest object of frenzy on the media’s racism beat is emblematic of America’s judicial system or the state of race relations today?

That is certainly what the ever-expanding army of racial victimologists and their media enablers would have you believe. Since the Jena story became international news last week, the media, the advocates, and pandering politicians have erupted in an outpouring of seeming joy at the alleged proof—after so much diligent trolling for evidence—that America remains a racist country. Senator Hillary Clinton told the NAACP: “This case reminds us that the scales of justice are seriously out of balance when it comes to charging, sentencing, and punishing African Americans.” Senator Christopher Dodd declared that Jena reveals that “de facto segregation”—in the spirit of Jim Crow—“is still very real” in many parts of America. Britain’s Observer announced that Jena shows “how lightly sleep the demons of racial prejudice in America’s deep south.” The New York Times has designated Jena “a high profile arena in the debate on racial bias in the judicial system”—a debate that perhaps not everyone was aware that we were having. J. Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said: “I think a lot of people recognize that the criminal justice system grinds down people of color every day. Oftentimes, it’s nameless, it’s faceless. . . . People see Jena as the tip of the iceberg and ask: What lies beneath?” Needless to say, the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have vowed with Biblical thunder to avenge the Jena innocents and force America to own up to its mistreatment of blacks.

Unquestionably, the attempted murder charges (which were later dropped for four of the defendants, while a sixth assailant was booked as a juvenile) merit scrutiny. If the indictment in fact resulted from discrimination, then the prosecutor would deserve the strongest punishment—debarment at the very least and harsh federal penalties for civil rights violations. And the incident that seems to have led to the group assault on the white student—three students’ hanging of nooses from a school tree where white teens congregated—was a despicable provocation. If adults in Jena condoned such incendiary behavior, then these grown-up enablers truly are throwbacks to a vicious American past, and all citizens should revile them. There is evidence, however, that such adolescent cruelty is not official policy. The school principal told a black student who had inquired about the segregated tree that he could sit there or anywhere else he pleased.

But even if the worst possible interpretation of these events is merited, the massive international attention to this tiny town would seem vastly disproportionate to the cause, unless Jena stands for a more widespread problem. The idea behind the protests and the politicians’ exploitation of them is that just as these five youths were overcharged, the hundreds of thousands of blacks in prison are also the victims of systemic abuse. But for institutional racism, the black prison population would be much smaller.

This is an old complaint, for which no proof has ever been offered, Hillary Clinton’s irresponsible statement notwithstanding. The usual evidence in support of the charge that the criminal laws discriminate against blacks is the far stiffer sentences for selling and possessing crack cocaine compared with powdered cocaine. But that colorblind sentencing regimen, which dates from 1986, was a heartfelt effort to protect the overwhelmingly black victims of crack, not to penalize them. Black liberals such as Congressman Charles Rangel were loudest in sounding the alarm about the effects of crack in the black ghetto. Not even the most deluded racial apologists have ever explicitly suggested that racial bias motivated Congress’s efforts to combat a drug that results in much higher rates of violence among dealers and users, quicker and more onerous addiction, and more emergency room visits than its powdered cousin.

The reason that the black incarceration rate is the highest in the country is that blacks have the highest crime rate—by a long shot. Don’t trust the police, prosecutors, or judges to give a fair picture of black crime? Then go where the bodies are. Los Angeles is representative. In the first seven months of 2007, blacks in Los Angeles were murdered at a rate ten times that of whites and Asians. Who’s killing them? It’s not whites and Asians. While a minor proportion of the assailants of blacks are Hispanic, the vast majority are black themselves. Nationally, blacks commit murder at about eight times the frequency of whites. In New York, any given violent crime is 13 times more likely to have been committed by a black person than by a white person, according to the reports of victims and witnesses. Though they are only 24 percent of the city’s population, blacks committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in New York last year. Whites, who make up 34.5 percent of New Yorkers, committed only 5.3 percent of violent crimes. These ratios are similar across the country. In Los Angeles, blacks committed 41 percent of all robberies in 2001, according to victims’ descriptions, though they constitute only 11 percent of the city’s population. Robbery victims identified whites, who make up 30 percent of the Los Angeles population, just 4 percent of the time.

When attacking the justice system, racial agitators work mightily to change the subject from violence to drugs, using their flimsy argument that crack cocaine penalties are too high. But the vast preponderance of prisoners are in the pen for violence and property crime. In 2003, 52 percent of inmates in state prisons were serving time for violent offenses, 21 percent for property offenses, and only 20 percent for drug offenses. To be sure, black incarceration rates are off the charts. Black men were 41 percent of the more than 2 million men in federal, state, and local prisons at midyear 2006. At the end of 2005, there were 3,145 prison inmates per 100,000 black males in the United States, compared with 1,244 inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 471 inmates per 100,000 white males. Is that because violent and property crime is overpenalized, as race advocates sometimes argue? No. Despite the advocates’ constant complaints about three-strikes laws, the criminal justice system actually underpenalizes crime because of inadequate prison space. Prosecutors cut deals to lessen sentences; sheriffs overseeing local jails regularly devise new schemes for dumping offenders back on the street to make room for the next batch. And in any case, even if penalties for particular offenses were too draconian, the punishments affect all offenders the same.

No one in the Jena stampede dares whisper a word about black crime, because it undercuts the portrait of a victimized race. You can listen to every protest across the country glorifying the “Jena Six” and you will never hear an acknowledgement of the massive social breakdown that is the black crime rate: no mention of the violence in inner-city schools that black students commit overwhelmingly; no mention of the rising homicides in midsize cities that young black males commit when they feel “disrespected.” It is not racism that is putting black men in jail; it’s their own behavior.

What about the broader significance of Jena? Again, assuming for the sake of argument that this minuscule Louisiana town seethes with the crudest bigotry, held uniquely by whites against integration-seeking blacks, is Jena’s supposed state of affairs a microcosm of America? To the contrary: there is not a single elite institution in the country that is not twisting itself into knots in favor of African-Americans. Every minimally selective college is desperately seeking to enroll more black students. Boosting black enrollment requires drastically lowering a college’s admissions criteria to overcome the intractable 200-point SAT gap between black and white high school students, but every college institutes such double standards for the sake of “diversity.” Any black student who graduates from high school with decent grades and respectable SATs will leapfrog over thousands of more qualified white and Asian students right into the Ivy League. Blacks are also the hottest commodity for exclusive private schools that serve as training grounds for the Ivies. Andover, Exeter, Choate, and every other fancy prep and day school practice the same double standards in their eagerness to admit African-American students. After college, law schools, business schools, medical schools, engineering schools, and others accept black students whose test scores would disqualify them if they were white or Asian.

The preferences continue into the professions. Wall Street law firms annually flagellate themselves over their lack of proportional representation of black associates and partners, even though the number of blacks who graduate from law school with grades and bar-exam scores comparable with the firms’ white hires is negligible. The lack of comparably qualified black candidates does not stop the law partnerships from hiring black associates, though. Corporations have saddled themselves with massive “diversity” bureaucracies whose only function is to justify hiring and promoting less qualified African-Americans and Hispanics. Newspapers, TV stations, and advertisers put enormous pressure on themselves to have blacks on their staffs and to show black faces to the world.

In short, the opportunities for blacks to roar ahead in the economy if they stay out of trouble, study, and apply themselves are legion, but the numbers taking advantage of these opportunities are not. California’s state superintendent of public instruction broke a longstanding taboo this August by pointing out that middle-class black students in the state score worse on math and English than poor white and Asian students—a disparity that applies across the country. The usual poverty excuse for black underachievement does not hold up. (this exact same issue is happening right in Baltimore County).

The Jena protesters will go home in denial of these truths. In fact, the purpose of such mass celebrations—and that is indeed what they are—is to make sure that attention stays far away from the actual problems holding blacks back. Astronomical rates of black criminality are not the only topic that the Jena rallies have obscured. No one wallowing in Jena promotion has had the courage to speak about an even more important crisis, the breakdown of marriage. The nearly 70 percent national illegitimacy rate for blacks—a number that can approach 90 percent in inner cities—is a cataclysm. Its consequences go far beyond the harm to individual black children—especially boys—who grow up without fathers. The real poison of the marriage crisis is the message it sends to young men about personal responsibility. The first duty in civil society is toward one’s own children; everything else is built around it. But when boys are raised without any expectations that they will have to support their children and marry the mother of those children, they fail to learn the most basic lesson about responsibility. They also are freed from the civilizing force of the marriage requirement, which pressures young men to become attractive mates. With enough support, individuals can overcome the moral perils of the illegitimacy culture, but given the prevalence of black crime and disaffiliation from the working world, it’s clear that not enough young men are finding ways to do so.

The race industry will try to keep Jena in the media and political spotlight for as long as possible, and to reinforce the notion that this episode exemplifies blacks’ situation in America. But if there were many other instances of (arguable) overcharging for black crime, we would have heard about them by now. The orgy of Jena coverage will not just fail to improve the lagging performance of blacks; it will impede such improvement by strengthening the victim mentality. Both whites and blacks are complicit in this sabotage. These ecstatic festivals of racism-bashing are a crippling ritual in the codependency between absolution-seeking whites and angry blacks, a phenomenon that Shelby Steele has powerfully analyzed. The demonstrators exhibit a palpable desire for the moral clarity of the civil rights era, as do the reporters, who have covered their every utterance. “This is the first time something like this has happened for our generation,” one student told the New York Times. “You always heard about it from history books and relatives. This is a chance to experience it for ourselves.”

He’s right; there has been nothing like Selma or Montgomery for the current generation, because much of America has accomplished almost an about-face on race since the 1950s. The current martyrs to American bigotry are a far cry from Rosa Parks. Like the “Jena Six,” they tend to have committed acts of violence or other crimes for which they are allegedly being excessively punished. Think of the six high school hooligans from Decatur, Illinois, whom Jesse Jackson tried to beatify in 1999 when their schools expelled them for a violent stadium fight; their backgrounds included robbery, trespassing, truancy, and failing whole school years. We are only belatedly learning that Mychal Bell, the sole member of the “Jena Six” to have been prosecuted for knocking out and kicking Justin Barker, has a previous arrest record that includes battery and property damage. Barker’s injuries led to $14,000 in medical bills, according to a lawyer.

The Jena situation is undoubtedly a bit more complex than the tale that the press has woven of hate-filled whites and peace-loving blacks. But even if it were not, the catharsis that this morality play has offered to its participants is spurious. The real tragedy is the dysfunctional culture that holds back too many blacks from seizing the many opportunities open to them.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Teach You How to Love???

I'm bothered by this new song by Musiq Soulchild where he is basically asking someone to teach him how to love. The lyrics are like this:

Teach me how to love
Show me the way to surrender my heart, girl I'm so
Teach me how to love
How I can get my emotions involved
Teach me,
show me how to love

I'm bothered cause it got me thinking are there actually people that don't know how to love? To get their emotions involved? How does that happen? How does it not come naturally to some people? Can it be taught? I'm sorry but I know if I were to come across a dude that asked me that, I'd be slightly horrified. If you at this point in your life (meaning adulthood) have never loved or really been in a situation where you'd surrendered your heart and got emotionally involved, why/how could I get involved with such a robot? And while asking for help might be the first step in solving the problem, how do you teach that? By example? By diagram? PowerPoint? How do you teach one to feel? I can't fathom it. Even scarier is that there may be people walking around like this right now.

I sure hope one doesn't try and date me one day. Whose got the energy for that?