Monday, October 30, 2006

The African American Vote: Is it Time for a Change?

For years I have voted for candidates that supposedly held some compassion towards African American issues. These are somewhat the same issues that plagued my mother’s generation. High unemployment, home purchasing dilemmas, infestation of drugs in the community, mediocre education standards, and inadequate health care services are only a few of the problems African Americans faced in the 70’s and 80’s. In 2006, we still combat issues that we thought our elected democrat officials would help eradicate or improve. It has been over 30 years, and many of us are still waiting on the results from our parents’ votes. Waiting and waiting! But yet, I have foolishly remained steadfast to the Democratic Party. You can say that I and millions of other black people nationwide have been overwhelmingly loyal to the Democrat Donkey. A donkey that is not truly deserving of our most precious political power: Our votes.

I have done the research and I have discovered that the democrats have introduced bills and legislation that’s helped African Americans “survive” in the United States in the past thirty years. We are able to purchase homes, but there remains to be systems in place that encourages predatory lending and unnecessary home purchasing profiling. We are getting paid more, but the majority of us are well below the poverty line. We have access to “equal” education, but the schools in most urban centers are underserved. There is so much that African Americans have not addressed with our democrat city councilmen, mayors, and congressmen. However, we continue to elect them to represent us. The Democrat Donkey loyalty is in affect with no holistic improvements for black people.

This commentary was not written by a declared Black Republican. It was written by a conservative thinking black man who is just now fully conceptualizing the power and complete meaning of his vote. Yeah, I know what you are saying. ‘Muata, what are you talking about? Our (black people) voting has always been important.’ Of course it has. Nonetheless, voting if you think critically about it has not completely produced the outcomes expected by our ancestors. Yes, it is a right many of them sacrificed their wellbeing for us to have. And, I agree if you are not utilizing this right you have no regard for the black struggle. However, it appears our vote is taken for granted by the Hilary Clintons and Howard Deans. I believe a vote taken for granted, is a vote not worthy of submission. But, where will that leave us? Who should get our vote?

My answer to the last question: Not all the democrats. Voting a straight democrat ticket lacks conscientious forethought and it is borderline lazy unless you are TRULY certain all the democrats agendas are in step with your ideals, beliefs, and expectations. Why not consider voting for a republican who supports No Child Left Behind; favors President Bush’s HIV/AIDS initiative; wants to eliminate unnecessary governmental spending; advocates for an overhaul of the United States government’s workforce; champions personal accountability/responsibility; prefers to lock-up and throw away the key for violent habitual felons; and who has a plan for getting out of Iraq?

I believe it is time for a change. Casting a democrat ballot may not be our answer. Voting strategically is.

Please exercise the right your ancestors died for you to have! If you don’t vote, keep your mouth closed when a decision is made that will negatively affect your standard of living in the United States of America.

Written by Muata. Inspired by Maryland’s Lt. Governor Michael Steele, a Black Republican and senate candidate.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Demise of our Society: Mr. Special, Ms. It ain’t my fault, and Mr. Baggy Pants

I have been told that there is a new attitude out there. New behavior. A new way to respond. It is rooted in they way young people (teenagers and 20 somethings) function when they do not get what they want. This new thing is called Sense of Entitlement.

I first recognized this type of behavior with my son when he was a toddler. I could not understand why Judah could not comprehend that he was not going to get everything he wanted and that everything was not going to go his way. He actually believed he was entitled to EVERYTHING. Now, let me remind you that I am referring to my son when he was a toddler and present day young adults. I am comparing behavior and attitude with a toddler and a 20 something. Do you understand? Do you find this absurd? If you do, please know that I also find it ridiculous. Nonetheless, the following statement from a psychiatrist confirms my thought process on the subject:

This attitude is normally seen in toddlers, who want what they want and they want it now. Every parent has had to deal with this kind of whining. When you see this attitude repeatedly in an adult, then you know you are dealing with psychopathology. Many adults whimper at the slightest inconvenience, delay, or restriction. Why? Because, like toddlers, they are convinced they deserve what they want when they want it. They are "entitled" to it.”

I guess America is full of toddlers in adult bodies. What do you think, or are we making excuses once again for our self serving, self righteous, self centered, and uncaring behavior? Do we (adults) actually believe whining will get us out of the traffic we do not have to be in? Do we believe that if we continue to shift responsibility on someone or something else that our whimpering will get us what we feel we deserve?

This new attitude is destructive, and it has gotten on my last nerve! What does that 23 year old think America owes him? What does the eighteen year old think she is entitled to? Someone please tell me. What makes these rude young people believe they are Mr. Special? Where did we go wrong with raising these people who appear to have it all together, but truly cannot function appropriately or adequately when confronted with real life events? And, this is the kicker: These young so called adults do not take any responsibility for their behavior. Just like the Ms. 30 something-It ain’t my fault. Interesting: we have teenagers and 20 year olds who are of the belief that they are entitled and we have that thirty-five year old who does not comprehend personal responsibility.

Are we so far to the left and/or to the right in our thinking that we blatantly refuse to take responsibility for our actions, and then believe it is okay? Think about the last time you did something stupid. Did you accept the fact that you made the decision to do that stupid act/thing after you realized what you did was dumb, or was it someone else’s fault?

I have to admit as a 30 something person that there have been several occasions where I conveniently developed an excuse for doing something STUPID, but failed to take responsibility for it. Like that time I purchased a car knowing full well that I could not afford the monthly car note. For those of you who grew up with me: It was the white and black Impulse. I may have told you at the time that my cousin took over the payments. I lied. That car was repossessed. Like that time I decided I was not going to file taxes for two years. I just refused to. "Damn the government." That was my attitude. How stupid was that? But, guess what: I blamed the IRS for my asinine act after they began to garnish funds from my government salary. Boy, was I an idiot! I neglected to take responsibility in both occurrences for my actions.

There have been numerous other irresponsible things that I have done. I can go on and on. However, there is one thing that I do not understand: Why do we continue to put ourselves in bad situations and then point the finger at the man, the system, our parents, our teachers, our childhoods, and for us black folk: why is slavery our reasoning for all our problems?

If you are black and refuse to accept the truth about us you may want to stop reading now. Don’t worry I do not have much to say. I have aired our dirty laundry before (
I will bullet point my truths. Continue to read.

-If you are illiterate it is your fault.
-If you sell drugs “the man” did not force you to poison your community.
-If you wonder why white people think we are all thugs and whores just spend 10 minutes watching BET.
-If you are not promoted at work maybe you should adhere to the man’s rules i.e. get to work on time.
-If you are “profiled” in a store that’s operated by a Korean, and the owner eyeballs you the entire time you are in his store you better believe one of us has ripped him off before.
-If you have ever thought about why there are so many black men in prison please do consider the judicial system is the blame for wrongfully putting them there, but also consider the brotha on the corner did rob the white tourist.
-If you devalue education and glorify rims, $200 jeans, Moet, overpriced seafood (Spondivits), and other foolishness you need to run a self check.

Probably every one of you reading this commentary are more than likely saying: ‘Muata, the list above does not apply to me.’ I know this, man! But, I guarantee you someone in your family or close to your family could benefit from the list. Even if it just serves as a reminder of their behavior they should read it because the list is a sad depiction of black folk not taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

I am so disgusted with us and our excuses. You can call it rhetoric (I am full of truthful rhetoric), but you know as well as I do that this “blame game” has to end. Mr. Baggy Pants needs to pull up his Rocawear jeans and stop being a jackass.

Most of our mommas did not raise fools!!

*All my Asian, Hispanic, Native American, African American and white readers please share this commentary with every Black person you know.

Written by Muata. Inspired by my friend that said: “On occasion, I am ashamed of being black.” Inspired by Jesse Jackson’s comment: “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”