Monthly Archives: October 2010

Race Kills

As I was laying in my bed watching a breaking news report about a multiple person shooting (eight killed, two injured) at Connecticut’s Hartford Distributors, the shock caused me to shake my head in disbelief.  Soon thereafter, I felt a sudden, more personal blow when the face of a Black man, Omar Thornton, 34, appeared on my TV screen.

“Goodness,” I thought.  “Not a brotha?”

According to a witnesses, a somewhat calm Thornton, who had no previous disciplinary notices, had been sitting in a meeting in which he was told to either resign or be fired for stealing beer (on video tape; the company also had someone following him).  At one point during this meeting Thornton went to get a drink and the shooting began.

Kristi Hannah, Thornton’s White girlfriend, said Thornton had never raised a hand to her, nor did he ever act aggressively.  Thornton’s uncle said his nephew told him that “I killed the five racist that was there that was bothering me.”  Thornton, himself, told a police negotiator:  “They [Hartford Distributors] treat all of the black employees bad over here.”  He continued on that he wish he had gotten more of “them” – racist.

During the shootings, witnesses claim Thornton was even chasing down specific people, running by others, to get to them.  At the beginning of the chaos, Thornton even killed his union rep, who had escorted him to the meeting.   Most workers believe that union reps are nothing more than extensions of the company, and unconcerned about employee rights so I wasn’t too surprised about this.

My heart goes out to the families of the deceased.  Whether they were racist or not, they did not deserve to die.  And I just wish Thornton would have found another way to vent his anger.  Leaving a daughter and other family around to have to get over his death and what he did for the rest of their lives is wrong.  Unfortunately, sometimes what’s wrong, looks right.

Thornton also called his mother right after the shootings and told her he loved her and his daughter.  His mother tried to talk him out of killing himself as the police moved in but to no avail.  Thornton spoke with a police negotiator on the phone as they were closing in, but he refused to surrender, encouraging the police to come and get him, almost defiantly.  He thought they were going to kill him anyway.

Hanna claims that she had Thornton take and show her the work bathroom wall pictures of a “hangman with a noose around its neck and a written statement saying, ‘kill the N-word.’ ”   Hanna said she told Thornton to take pictures  of the racial epithets because “he could get a lawyer and go after Budweiser.”  Another work bathroom picture, according to Hanna, displayed Thornton’s name and mentioned something about “hating Black people.”  Also, during a phone call, Hanna revealed that, while Omar was in the bathroom stall holding the cell phone up, she heard the head of Hartman Distributors telling the head union rep:   “I gotta get rid of this dumb Nigger.”

Hanna continued that she was present when Omar made two of several calls to his union rep to complain about racial discrimination and no one ever called him back, refuting Hartford Distributors statements that Thornton never complained.  When the reporter asked her if she had spoken with Thornton’s mother, she said that she had and said Thornton’s mother told her Thornton did what he did because of racism, and that he loved both of them.

Hartford Distributors denies that employees had racially tortured Thornton, and they allege he never reported he was being racially harassed.

What racists don’t get – be they Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and the rest of the “Klan,” or otherwise – is that their words create perception and fuel a culture of race-based hatred that leads to not only more minorities being killed (by police, hate crimes, etc.), but there will also be times when minorities retaliate, especially when an employer, say, doesn’t address racist issues and/or discriminates.  Unchecked workplace discrimination by Whites against Whites also happens, but very few people understand that when you sit by and let minorities be discriminated against by management or others, you, a White individual, may become a victim of these discriminators, too, because they lack moral values and everyone becomes a problem if “you” don’t “fit in.”  Maybe you become a target because you hang out with the Blacks, Asians, or Hispanics at work?

Additionally, most employers pay lip service to workplace discrimination and many don’t even post laws against discrimination because they don’t want people to know their rights.  And many employers that do diversity training make it more about superficial or limited diversity, such as the problems White women may experience.  But workplace shootings aren’t that uncommon.  In fact, as recent as 2008, there were 421 workplace shootings in the United States, 99 of which were in retail settings, which led all types of workplace shootings.  And from 2004-2008, five years, an average of 526 workplace homicides occurred per year.

I thought is was a bit peculiar also that the employer had a detective and cameras watching Thornton.  This is a typical reaction by employers who harass employees, targeting the employees work performance/job by placing them under surveillance, looking for a reason to terminate them, especially when they complain.  And even though the employer says Thornton never complained, it’s common for minorities to complain by not actually writing up a complaint, fearing even more retaliation.

As a former manager/trained workplace investigator, and one who’s dealt with discrimination, I highly recommend anyone discriminated against at work to document, document, document; visit the federal government’s EEOC websites, as well as the state and local offices that deal with discrimination and educate yourself.  Also, read up and follow your company’s complaint procedure, but consult with an attorney and file with a government agency if you don’t believe you’re getting treated fairly.  Be proactive and cautious about whom you speak to; and send emails before discussing issues with your boss (or Human Resources) as much as possible so you leave a paper/email trail; and document what you discussed afterwards.

Don’t put up with discrimination, and be aware that once you complain, you probably will become a target, particularly when you’re a minority.  In general, employers don’t seem to “get it” or care to “get it” when minorities complain about racism or discrimination.  Be action-oriented and don’t be satisfied with smiles and dramatic looks of concern on the faces of your supervisor or HR rep.  Just be prepared for war.  You cannot take any chances; you must seek action and watch your back.

They say things always get worse before they get better.  But until Obama and others, particularly everyday people, get their head out of the sand and start talking about race, dealing effectively with racial discrimination in the workplace, and muzzle the Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s, and Beck’s, we will become sicker and sicker until something, or somebody else explodes, again, and again, and again.  But eventually we’ll run out of opportunities to address this pariah, race.

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

The Real Housewives Of Atlanta & Other Black Shows Continue Hollyweird’s Black Men In Drag Tradition

By Walter L. Hilliard III

Black men, because of their strength, intelligence, and sexuality, are the most vilified and attacked men on the planet, whether it’s the police committing another “justifiable homicide, or it’s  the media and Hollyweird, among others, showing how much they fear and hate us by “castrating” our image.

As of late, Hollyweird fears the Black man’s sexuality so much so that they routinely showcase Black men as women, carrying out the most extreme effeminization process  of the Black male image I’ve seen in years.  Add to this, the limited number of times any Black man appears on the movie or TV screen, period.

By putting Black men in dresses and heels, and having them switch around on screen and act like women (see Rupaul, for example), they are sending the message to the world that the Black man is really less than a man.

It seems for a lot of Black women, a Black man is not good enough to be her man, but he can be one of her “girlfriends.”  Lisa Raye has her effeminate cousin living with her on her TV show.  Monique has an effeminate Black man that is seen switching around in the opening intro of her nightly show.  Fantasia has her effeminate assistant guiding her career every moment during her program.  And on Brandy and Ray J’s show, Brandy parades around with her effeminate Black male friend and her girlfriends.  Not to mention, Oprah just did a follow up show with a Mr. Down Low autho.  And a lot of angry Black women maliciously and wrongly cast an air of suspicion around many Black men of being on the down low and blaming them for the aids epidemic, which is really caused by intravenous drug use and individuals having multiple sleeping partners.

What’s going on?  I thought Black women were looking for mates?   Maybe if some of these women running around with gay men spent more time with straight men, they could find husbands.

And if Oprah hates Stedman so much that she won’t even marry him, then why not go ahead and dump him instead of taking out her hostilities on Black men, in general, by doing these dumb down low shows, or shows like the one she did telling Black women to go marry White men?

And how is a Black man in heels going to protect the Black woman, take care of her, or otherwise?

Some Black girls have even given up on Black men and dress and act like men themselves, pimping other Black girls, calling themselves Studs.  And other Black girls have decided they’d rather date and mate with other Black women, and call themselves Fems.  And these are just two of the names they use.

Really . . . ?

Really!

I mean, uhhhmmm, like, don’t we have a community to save, or something?  I think some of us simply have way too much time on our hands.

Anyway, years ago, I can remember enjoying kicking back and watching The Cosby Show. I thought Theo was cool (well, maybe not?), Bill was funny and insightful, and Phylicia Rashad was beautiful and sexy.  These Black role models were probably the best we’ve ever seen on television, no matter what your race.

Now fast-forward to the premiere of the 2010 Atlanta Housewives, which was really Black insanity on steroids and to the tenth power.  As the show flowed from housewife to housewife, it was obvious that Bravo would be expanding upon its previous character assassination of the Black male image, a Black man who was once viewed as the head of the Black family and the king of civilization.

Yes, three or four of the star housewives parade around with gay men like they’re accessories all of the time.  And these grown men carry purses, wear fingernail polish and make up.  During one show, one of the men even wore a shirt that revealed what appeared to be small breasts.  In fact, some of the gay men on the show have larger roles than some of the straight Black men.

What’s wrong with these materialistic Atlanta broads?  How do they explain their romping around with these men to their sons?

Well, they don’t care, obviously.  They think they’re celebrities, but they’re really being exploited by Hollyweird, which isn’t an issue to them, I’m sure, because they’re “gettin’ paid.”  And we all know a lot of Black people will do anything for money.

Hey, the nails and hair gotta Get Did, girlfriend.

When Black men occasionally do get a big screen role, they’re playing women.

Think about most of the major Black male stars – most of whom are comedians, which Hollywood prefers – they’ve all played women characters before: Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, Tyler Perry, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Wesley Snipes, Jamie Fox, Marlon Wayans, Sean Wayans, Damon Wayans, Kennan Ivory Wayans, Ving Rhames, and the list goes on.

But one of the most disappointing comments I’ve read was that Will Smith said he wished he had really kissed the actor opposite him in Six Degrees of Separation (the Hollywood media was on his case for awhile), instead of the director having to use camera tricks and another actor.  I think Will has been in Hollyweird for far too long.  Apparently, Denzel Washington had advised him against kissing another man.  At the time, Smith also felt kissing a man wouldn’t have went over well with his Philly buddies.

Uhhh, ya think!?

A couple years ago, Black director extraordinaire John Singleton said:  “There’s nothing but comedies, and I’m tired of all these Black men in dresses. Every other movie has a Black man in a dress, from the Madea movies to Norbit to Big Momma’s House. How come nobody’s protesting that? They call them family movies, and nobody’s telling the little kids that it’s kind of different for a man to wear a dress.  I’m just saying that it comes to a point where, if that’s the only types of images they’re seeing, how is that informing upon Black men in America? “

Black kids are confused because Black people are confused.  Since slavery our traditional family unit was our strength and has enabled us to survive, but our families started to gradually deteriorate throughout the 19th century after desegregation and because of alcohol, drugs, materialism, gender role confusion, and so on.  Even marriage is not a valued tradition in our community anymore.  In fact, 43 percent of Black women have never been married.

It seems that the Black community’s demise has always been because of our following or imitating the White mainstream’s behavior, from abusing alcohol to using drugs; however, we are a smaller community, we do not have their resources and we’re already at the bottom of the societal totem pole.  And which way can you go when you’re already down?

Richard Pryor’s angry friends once yelled:  “Which way is up, sucker” to him after he sold out to The Man in the movie Which Way Is Up?

I don’t think a lot of Black people can answer this question.

A SOUL BREAK

Al D’Amato, You Go Boy!

Several minutes into the Fox “Money Rocks” video segment below, former Republican Senator from NY, Al D’Amato, “goes postal” on GOP strategist Jack Burkman (I know, I’ve never heard of this “nobody,” either), who when making a point about the U.S. privatizing the postal service and his belief that postal workers are unskilled, suggested “most of these guys working in the Post Office should be driving cabs, and I think we should stop importing labor from Nigeria and Ethiopia.  That’s the skill level.”  Thus, Burkman casually and arrogantly demeaned Africans and cab drivers without even blinking.

Fortunately, Tamara Holder, a guest attorney on the show, criticizes Burkman for his “Nigerian and Ethiopean” slur.

But D’Amato lays into Burkman, calling him a “nasty racist,” and his comments about the Nigerians and Ethiopians was a “bunch of bullshit.”  As if this weren’t enough, D’Amato also told Burkman to shut up and that he needed his mouth washed out with soap.

Actually, everyone seemed to agree that Burkman made some good points regarding postal waste and the need for privatization, but his racist comments overshadowed his thoughtful analysis.

When thinking about Burkman, I’m reminded of the saying:  “I cannot hear what you say because what you are speaks so loudly.”

Touche!

Black Caucus Hunting? Waters & Rangel

I believe that, like many Blacks, the Black Caucus, our Black congressional lawmakers, are being targeted by conservatives, even though monitors like the House Ethics Committee are “supposed” to be bipartisan.

Former powerful Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is being charged with 13 violations by the house ethics committee and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is facing three charges related to her allegedly helping a minority owned bank, OneUnited Bank, who contacted her for help to get government bailout funds to survive.

However, some are questioning why out of over 30 cases being considered by the Office of Congressional Ethics, the only active investigations involve two Black congressional members, Maxine Walters (D-Calif) and Charlie Rangel (D-NY), but several seemingly serious charges against White members have been thrown out?

It has been reported that there are two Democrats on the sub committee voting to bring charges against Maxine Waters; one voted for charges being brought and the other against it.  The rest of the committee is made up of Republicans, which says everything.

But as is often the case, most of those interviewed among the Black Caucus have avoided saying that race is an issue.  This is the problem with these bourgeoisie Negroes — they’re always so afraid of being accused of playing the Race Card by conservatives that they can rarely fight back effectively.  When you’re in a fight, anything goes.  Just ask the conservatives.

Cheating, lying, and stealing is the only way conservatives even remain relevant in politics, when considering how often they dupe average Americans into voting for them despite their selling their souls to big business.  But the Democrats aren’t far behind in this department.

When looking at the Rangel and Water’s situation, Rangel, an 80-year-old, 20-term congressmen has the most serious battle ahead, particularly since President Obama has gone public encouraging Rangel to retire.

I’m amazed how President Obama is always flexing his political muscles when it comes to bullying his own people, being condescending and telling CBS news that Rangel should leave with “dignity,” and that the charges are “troubling.”  Not to mention that President Obama even played the Age Card on Rangel, as if he’s too old and it’s time to go.   But he’s really just still mad that Rangel supported Hilary Clinton against him.  He’s also, basically, told the Black Caucus — no special treatment, belittling them with euphemisms like “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

So Rangel and the Black Caucus can join the rest of the Black folks Obama has “thrown under the bus”:  Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod, Reverend Wright, and other others.

The Congressional Ethics Committee has charged Waters with three counts related to OneUnited Bank receiving $12 million in government bailout funds.  The charges are that she didn’t behave in an ethical manner; that she used improper influence that resulted in a personal benefit; and, thirdly, that she did special favors for OneUnited Bank.  The charges are vague and Waters is ready to annihilate  them.

A 79-page Office of Congressional Ethics report reveals that Barney Frank (D-MA) warned Waters of a conflict of interest regarding her involvement with OneUnited Bank after the bank contacted her.  Waters was cautious because her husband, Sydney Williams, was a OneUnited Bank stockholder and served on their board for four years until 2008.  But this was before she became involved with the bank.   Her intention was to help a struggling minority institution by making a couple connections that were not illegal.  This is what Waters does – help her people, but if what she did is considered illegal, then they need to lock up 90 percent of the congress.

Before the charges were brought forth, Waters had been denying she committed any wrong-doing and was demanding that the charges be made public until they finally were.  “Democracy demands fairness,” she said, adding that she deserves to be heard.  She also tweeted:  “Accusations against me unfounded.  No benefit, no improper action, no failure 2 disclose, no one influenced, no case.”

But when will Black folks and Black politicians learn that, like the Republican Party, the Democratic Party doesn’t mean us much good, either?  Barney Frank, a Democrat, has mentioned that he felt “vindicated” after warning Waters, as if he had something to do with the committee going after her.  With friends like this, who needs enemies?  Maybe he was mad because the bank is in his district and he wanted to help (supposedly legal) and get credit.

Besides getting beat up consistently by conservatives, the Democratic Party continues to use Black folks for their votes, hustling in athletes and entertainers like Russell Simmons and Puffy, as well as pastors, to try and guilt us into voting for them.  And be aware that the Prison Industrial Complex that incarcerates high numbers of our Black men and women thrived under the supposedly “Black President” Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party.

If Rangel and Waters are wrong, then they should get what’s coming to them, but so should everybody else.  However, we all know that it will be a “cold day in h*#” before that happens.

The problem for Rangel and Waters is that they’ve dedicated themselves to a party, a system, the Democratic Party, that isn’t much different than the Republican Party when it comes to race.  They’re committed to the “lesser of two evils.”  The Democratic Party is composed of Black and White folks who are simply an extension of a society of people divided by race, and so when Black political hides are on the line, as is the case with the larger society, the same rules apply:  “If you’re Black stay back; if you’re Brown, stick around; and if you’re White, you’re alright.”

At Rangel’s 81st birthday party on August 11th, 2010, a heckler yelling Rangel was a crook received the middle finger from former NY Mayor David Dinkins, right before Dinkins went inside.  Later that night, at the party, Rangel said that he supported Dinkins gesture to the heckler.

This is the kind of fight that all Black politicians need to have.  Otherwise, the intellectually challenged, race-baiting supporters of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly will run over them, kill their reputations, and then back up over ‘em again,  just for good measure.

Pastor Eddie Long Pimpin’ His People

Suicide is the ultimate form of self-hate.  When I heard the story about Fantasia trying to kill herself, I was somewhat surprised, but not totally surprised because of how she behaves on her show and her background.  Anyone that has watched her show knows Fantasia and her family grew up extremely religious, traveling and singing in church as a group.

Watching and listening to her discuss her church roots makes one think how could an individual so “full of the spirit” try to kill herself?  But this is the fake image that many in the church put on, wrapping themselves in religion or the bible, thriving on the “show” aspect of church: the hootin’ and hollerin’ and the superiority complexes that inspire them to criticize anyone who doesn’t regularly attend church – and all this, even though they behave in the most absurd, hypocritical ways.  In fact, most Black people become aware of the charade being played out at most churches as they mature and attend occasionally or stop going altogether, having been run out by the drama queens and kings.

In the case of Long’s parishioners, who excuse his alleged molesting of young Black boys, they are cut from the same delusional cloth that Fantasia is, using the power of God’s name and religion to live in an excuse-filled world while carrying on like heathens, refusing to take control of their lives, living comfortably with repent dis-ease.

“I feel like David against Goliath, but I got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”  And with those parting words from Pastor Eddie Long, his New Birth audience rose and went into a frenetic roar, cheering, praising, and showing their undying love for their “daddy.”

Blasphemous!!!

Yes, Black people have lost their minds.  I already knew that a large portion of avid churchgoers were delusional when it came to their pastors, but……

It’s funny how what goes around comes around.  Karma.  Years ago, Pulpit Pimps Creflo Dollar, T.D. Jakes, and Eddie Long all spurned Farrakhan’s Million Man March because they were afraid of negative attention from the White mainstream media.  Now, yet another one of them has to face the ridicule Farrakhan always faces, but he’s a strong Black respectable voice, a real man’s voice among a crowd of cowardly Black men who compromise the well-being of Black people for a pat on the head from mainstream America’s White-run media and politicians.

Pastor Eddie Long, the leader of the 25,000 member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta has now been targeted in five lawsuits filed, and counting, four of which involve his allegedly committing sexual coercion against teenaged boys (at the time the acts where committed), and a fifth that accuses him of defaulting on a business loan.

Sitting on 250 acres, the New Birth Mega Church is the equivalent of a small town and has a $50 million cathedral.   Pastor Eddie Looooong money even has a private jet and floats a Bently.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Long received a salary of $3 million a year between 1997 and 2000.

Questionable camera phone photos of Long posing in tight athletic gear have also been released by one of the accusers, Spencer LeGrande (14 when he met Long; the sexual relationship started when he was 17).  Eddie LeGrande, Spencer’s absentee father, said Long disrupted his relationship with his son by giving his son gifts, and that Spencer LeGrande gave up a college basketball career to work with Long.

I say, excuses, excuses, excuses!  If Eddie LeGrande had manned up when he was supposed to, this situation regarding his son would probably have not come about.

During videotaped speeches regarding the allegations, Eddie Long sounds like he’s giving typical mind-control sermons, quoting the bible, mentioning his family, referring to prayer and Jesus teachings about loving your enemy.  Defiant and exercising his power over his flock, Long knows his parishioners will support anything he says; thus, he has been exploiting the Black victims and his supporters through the Black community’s most organized and oldest institution – the Black Church.

Long said:  “I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man, but I am not the man being portrayed on the television . . . that’s not me.”

Seeing all those Black people standing and cheering him challenged my desire to write and inspire Black people.  It has challenged my faith in our people because I realized that we are much sicker than I believed.  How we could support someone who, at the very least, sent young Black boys pictures of himself posing in muscle shirts is twisted, and every last one of those Negroes in his church should be locked up.  And why is Long still preaching in tight form-fitting shirts?  How holy is that?

If these allegations against Long are true, what a pervert Long is.  And not only is he married, but he could have any beautiful Black woman he wants and he’s chasing young boys around.  He needs to be put in jail.

Two of Long’s accusers, Anthony Flagg, 20, and Maurice Robinson, 21, said they are not gay.  I’m not sure about the other two accusers, Jammal Parris and Spencer LeGrande?  All say they were influenced by gifts, jewelry, trips, cars, and bible quotes from Long, as well as introductions to celebrities like the rapper TI and actor Chris Tucker by Long.

Black CNN host Don Lemon revealed during an interview with three New Birth teenagers that he had been abused by a pedophile.  He also lightly challenged the youth about their unwavering denial regarding Long’s guilt by telling them that a couple of the accusers do not know each other, yet they’re saying similar things, things that Lemon said he experienced as common behavior of pedophiles.  Nonetheless, the young people just weren’t getting it.

This is why so few Black people, and especially Black men, attend church.  The brainwashing that goes on with not only young people and those who are a lot older is ridiculous.  It also occurred to me that the parents of the New Birth kid’s that spoke to Lemon probably signed off on their speaking out on behalf of Long.  They’re statements about how much Long and New Birth has done for them has nothing to do with whether or not he is guilty, but they didn’t want to even consider that.

The lawsuit brought by Anthony Flagg and Maurice Robinson alleges that Long violated his pastoral duties.  The age of consent in Georgia is 16 years old, the age at which the two men allegedly started having sex with Long, but he may have violated the consent law in other states and New Zealand, where it’s alleged Long had sex with the boys up to the time they were 20 years old.

I am ashamed of Black people.