Tuesday, December 30, 2008
As this year comes to a close, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the historic nature of the past 365 days. We have a black president-elect! This alone is evidence that the United States is slowly but surely changing. We are a LONG way from what I would like to witness. Nonetheless, we are approaching significant change laced with specks of freedom in this corrupt country - but only IF we face the truth; and deal with it.
No president, governor, and/or city councilman can help us with the personal change we all may need to embrace. What we should do is prepare ourselves for the next minute, the next hour, and the next day while keeping in mind that as years quickly past we are called to EVOLVE, and not remain the same.
Let's start thinking about our self-evolution (that's if you are willing to 'move to the next phase') by thoughtfully recapping:
What have you done this year that makes you proud to be you?
If we live 2009 with this question in our frontal lobe we may just be able to list a few more 'proud accomplishments' on December 31, 2009.
I am going to work on this next year because I want my list to be long.
Let's check back in with each other on the last 31st day of 2009.
Peace and Love.
People Get Ready (Ready for 2009):
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by The Closer.
Please be on the look out for the first commentary of 2009:
Karma vs. Spiritual Discernment
"I do not believe that there is an unseen force out there coming to haunt us as a result of a poor decision we made two-three years ago (retribution). My belief: as a result of a decision we made, we are now faced with its delayed reality (life)."
I think we may have forgotten about the affects something so high profile could have on a teenager. So many of us got so caught up in being a part of history instead of really addressing the REAL issue: Mychal Bell is a troubled young man. But, how could we have helped him from afar? Family should have stepped up. Apparently, they did not i.e. foster home??
This is yet another reminder that WE need to do better. We must...if not we will continue to perish. Something has to give. We have yet to ARRIVE the way we should.
I am SO TIRED of having to say the same damn thing when it comes to black men, the black family.
But, here is a story that should touch your heart in a positive way.
A black father being a father even in death:
Shared with the world by Brian E. Payne.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I am definitely not a Trump fan - but he is onto something that many of us haphazardly believe is true. We just too damn afraid to put some of the blame on Mr. Divine. Yes, I know we (humans) are responsible for America's current predicament e.g. economy in peril. Nonetheless, IF He is in control He did ALLOW this mess to occur which means He is partially directly/indirectly responsible for honest men and women not being able to feed their kids tonight. Yes, we can preface Freewill. Nonetheless, if God intervenes in the matters of men/women as a result of prayer, why can’t He provide some financial relief for the most needed? I am just saying...
Please follow an intellectually stimulating discussion by clicking on the Comment icon. But first, read the article that can be found after navigating to the URL below.
Brian E. Payne
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The fed's just cut the interest rate again. This time to 0% - .25%. After thinking about this and waddling in ignorance I have the following questions:
How does this help the average man/woman who may have a ding on their credit report? I ask because people are applying for loans - but they are getting denied because of a ding that is the result of a bad economy e.g. job lost, one late payment, salaries lowered, etc.
Seems to me that if the idea is to help the average man/woman (there are more of these folk in America), how do the federal government expect for them to get ahead or reestablish if they cannot secure the much needed loans e.g. home re-finance loans, first time home buyer loans, business loans, modest car loans, etc. to jump start their efforts to get back on their feet?
Who is really benefiting in this new 'socialist' economy? It ain't the car workers in Detroit. It ain't the men/women who have been unemployed for months/years. It ain't those who are looking to purchase a home: they (the American people owned banks) want 20% down and a 750 plus credit score. Who has that
topnotch FICO score today among the average folk I have discussed?
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a citizen who is part owner of the banks that refuse to give him and other Americans loans.
Friday, December 12, 2008
It’s that time of the year when community members and state legislators argue over whether or not an Abies Alba is erected to honor Christmas. An argument over a damn tree? Some say that Christmas trees have no historical connection to Jesus’ incorrect birthday, and others believe that the tree has its place during the festive season. Personally, I don’t care about its value or non-value. I just like the smell of a freshly cut down tree. It not only adds a pine fragrance to my mannish domain, it reminds me of a holiday that I once appreciated.
One would think that I ignore Christmas because of the mall sponsored commercialism. That’s not the case. I have discovered that my discontent stems from how Christmas has lost its original meaning because of excessive liberalism.
Just the other day a determined to be heard atheist decided that it was within his Freedom of Speech Rights to post a sign next to a nativity scene that reads:
At this season of the winter solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens our hearts and enslaves our minds.
While I agree with the second sentence beginning at “no devils’ and the entire final sentence, I am opposed to extreme leftist views that are only purported ‘to be different’ and/or irresponsibly combative. Not that atheism falls into the aforementioned categories. Actually, the non-believing system of ideas is legitimate, and makes a lot of sense when one removes his/her faith lenses.
In an effort to accommodate the non-believer the state of Washington accepted the application from him and his group, The Freedom from Religion Foundation; and as a result the sign has been placed in close proximity to the infamous Birth of Christ display. Since then there have been a handful of lefties submitting request to have their self-centered views represented in the capital’s rotunda.
What does this have to do with liberalism?
As we approach a new era, an energized movement - it is obvious that the majority of voting Americans are willing to try something new (the election of a black man to the US presidency). Understanding and accepting that Barack Obama represents the liberal agenda, we are officially solidifying the push from the ultra liberal left. This, indicating that the American people are prepared to toss out tradition and the values that have worked for America for such a long time. One has to agree that the basic tenets of the value system are decent. Trashing the tradition means that there will be an inevitable shift in the way laws are legislated and enacted. In my belief, this can only cause harm to us rather than emancipate us.
When the United States decided to push unregulated political correctness I knew then that we were more interested in accommodating (not accepting) outlandish beliefs and values than protecting what has ‘maintained’ us for years.
Where will we be when we cannot identify what is right and what is wrong? Will we be in a position to reprimand/punish those who declare: ‘I did it because who is to say what I did was wrong?’ Believe it or not, this is the road we have taken. There is no more sacred structure surrounding the holidays that have assisted in shaping righteousness. Besides, what is the harm in celebrating the life of a great man (I did not say, the Son of God)? What is wrong with believing in something as long as you do not force your beliefs on someone else and not emphasizing that your way is the only way? What is wrong with keeping with the status quo if it is not harmful?
Why is there a need to liberalize freedoms we already have?
Does not make sense to me – but what does is that anything too far to the right or left cannot be healthy. It is in fact suicide. What we need is a balance that’s acceptable by the Divine Creator while keeping in mind that this Creator that this Christian nation believes in is/was NOT a Liberalist Lefty. He supported conservative customs (Ten Commandments), and was against any belief that disturbed/disrupted His work in forming tradition.
If only we could talk to those who got in His way.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a fleeting conservative approach.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Michael Vick is paying his debt to society. He is paying restitution to the victims of his crimes. He is even willingly prepared to speak out against the heinous crimes he committed. Nevertheless, his self-inflicted financial problems will still be an issue when he is released from prison. This may prove to be the biggest hurdle of his life; not serving time.
In the article (link below), I was amazed by the amount of ‘love’ he GAVE away to family members and friends. My bewilderment prompted me to begin an email correspondence with a few buddies.
Here is what I wrote below. Please follow the conversation by clicking on the Comment icon.
“Blacks will go broke ‘taking care’ of each other. I just don't get it. I always try to put myself in others' shoes. I wonder if I would just give my money away to family members. You? Also, a multi-millionaire with only $96 in a retirement account?"
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by my continued criticism of Black Men.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Some useless legislative branch of the government wants to merge HBCU’s with white majority schools for the RIGHT reason? If money is the primary motivation I might just agree with their fiscal responsible justification – but only because of one reason. A reason I will touch on in a moment. Please keep reading.
During this time of colossal state and federal budget cuts in many areas it is high time that we (black folk) consider that the social and municipal services that we (some Americans) may be accustomed to receiving will be taken away. It is also about time we (black folk) implement black nationalistic tendencies and practices. This could also be another cue for us to do a few things for ourselves e.g. pool resources to help each other out during the holiday season instead of waiting on a stimulus check or a tax break from our failing government.
Just today I saw a woman ringing that familiar seasonal Salvation Army bell. I was tempted to throw the change I had left over from my sandwich making essentials purchase into the red pot – but I had a second thought: ‘I am going to identify one black person seeking employment services at my workplace to donate all of my spare change to after about two months.’ I may just have enough to purchase some brother or sister a days worth of meals. Hope it is more than my usual: peanut butter and jelly.
Hey, this may not be much to offer. Nonetheless, it is this type of thinking that we need to contemplate considering America’s present economic crisis because the lowly of us will certainly be forgotten. It is this path of thinking that needs to be introduced and/or re-introduced into the minds of all black people nationwide that have an affinity toward HBCU’s.
To that ‘reason’ I mentioned above:
“Alumni associations for these black schools are very protective of their legacy.”-Senator Seth Harp
Harp is actually correct. However, he has overestimated the ‘protection’ we, HBCU grads, are willing to extend. If black graduates really were protecting the HBCU’s there would not be a threat of a merger. Now, would there?
With all of black America’s wealth, there is no legitimate reason that some senate governing body should have control over the fate of black colleges/universities. Actually, we should not even be in this position…again, considering our wealth and the money that we spend on frivolous crap like ridiculous Homecoming cover charges to get into an over crowded party.
Perhaps, I am beating an old drum. I know for sure that this discussion has been had before too – but when will we seriously consider a suggestion that
has been pleadingly touted over and over again? If it has not been a valid recommendation presented by countless black historical figures, why are we (black folk) still the owners of nothing collectively, and the consumers of everything? Why are we not in a position to fully fund the heartbeat of black academia?
In America’s pending debacle (the bottom falling out) we MUST seize the opportunity to build a united financially-sound community. If not, we will surely be the victims of our legislator’s poor decisions. We will lose our schools and the ability to foster a unique educational experience that prides itself on black student development.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by my time at Howard University.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I am trying to wrap my brain around this tragedy. Here we (America) are in a financial crisis that contributed to a worldwide economic alert, and a recently announced recession – but yet there were 2,000 people waiting in line to get the Early Bird deals at a Wal-Mart on what retailers have coined as Black Friday. With mass job lost, company closings, record foreclosures, and sky-high credit card debt Americans still flooded the stores to purchase Japanese made electronics.
How could this day get any blacker? A man was killed by what some Wal-mart employees are calling “savages”. To be referred to as a “savage” means the individuals conducting themselves in that manner had to be behaving in the worst of ways. Right? All for a Vizio flat screen or a violent video game. I can believe it! This is America.
The supporters of America are saying with a smirk that stampedes occur all around the world. Yes, they do. However, the international stampedes I am familiar with happen for different reasons. Typically, people in a poor African or Asian country trample each other to get to food that an American cargo plane drops from the sky. This is what they (the hungry) are fighting for: The next meal. While we (Dumb Americans) get up at 3:00am, drive to the local superstore, sit in an expensive lounge chair eating salty country ham biscuits, and then at 4:59AM we position ourselves to participate in a steeple chase-type shopping extravaganza.
What type of sense does this make considering Americans by all accounts are struggling to make ends meet? I guess the ends met for a day?
As I viewed the video footage of the EMS workers trying to resuscitate Jdimytai Damour ‘it’ came to me:
America will not under any circumstances learn from this awful occurrence.
I know this because the steeple chasers were still in the starting blocks ready to enter the building without regard for Mr. Damour after he was man slaughtered.
I wonder if Jdimytai Damour recently arrived to the United States seeking a better life? I ask because his name is definitely non-American. Just trying to put 2 and 2 together. If he was a newly arrived documented immigrant he surely got introduced to our American ‘priorities’. Didn’t he?
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a disgusting reality.
Monday, December 01, 2008
I try my best to give professional athletes the benefit of doubt considering the spotlight can be overwhelming. Those who keep up with my commentary may not believe that since I have been extremely critical of Terrell Owens, Ron Artest, and other troublemakers. But, after securing two Op-ed spots where I shared my thoughts that basically blasted Michael Vick I have been accused of being judgmental by people who suddenly value biblical scripture. Therefore, I have also been somewhat closed lipped when it comes to expressing my unadulterated feelings about the behavior of a few black athletes.
Since that accusation (judgmental) I have been selective with my words of disappointment because to be labeled ‘judgmental’ can assist in credibility lost. And, we all know that a writer must be creditable. However, I am willing to put my reputation out on the limb if I am standing by what I believe to be appropriate characterizations of men who in my bold opinion do not give a damn about loyalty, family, personal character, and the law. Unfortunately, Plaxico Burress falls into this category this week. He is a reasonable target for my condemnation; and lingering frustration with black men who allow money to change them for the worst.
Plaxico is flashy. He runs routes with precision. Plaxico is boastfully outspoken. He has proven to be dependable when the ball is in the air. Plaxico is everything most fans like. He is the type of guy everyone loves. The sad point is Plaxico and the likes of him know that they are liked and loved without restriction; and they use this to ‘juice up’ their already inflated egos. Egos that allow them to make stupid decisions that put, not only their careers in the hands of a rich white guy, but their lives in jeopardy.
I keep asking myself, ‘Why would Plaxico insist on carrying a 40 caliber glock in a nightclub after he was told that he could not bring it in?’ In his persistence what he has done is injured himself, strained his relationship with a colleague (Antonio Pierce), disregarded his responsibility to his employer (NY Giants/NFL), further damaged his reputation, and added a label to the list of descriptives he has earned in his short time in the National Football League: Felon.
How stupid can these guys be? They have money, fame, and respect – but they for one reason only (ego) cannot stay away from becoming another judicial system example. I often wonder how I would respond to becoming an instant millionaire. Some will tell you that I cannot make the following prediction when and if I ever earn or come into millions of dollars:
I would not be a damn idiot!
Plaxico is in the need of our tenderly stern judgment. Someone besides the NFL Commissioner and the District Attorney of New York must. Those powers surely will in the coming days while we sit back and allow another black man to go down without culturally reprimanding him for dishonoring himself all because some outdated source (bible) tells us that it is wrong to judge.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by “judgment is not wrong if done with a sense of lovingly resolve.” I believe that, and not this: Romans 2:1.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Is what a wise friend who resides in Annapolis, Maryland told me. “Be good to yourself.” Think about that. What is your initial thought? Mine was: ‘Have I been truly good to myself in this life that I have lived thus far? Have I?’ Have you? I am not sure if I have been when I think about it in totality.
We spend a lot time trying to be good people and making attempts to be good to others – but being good to ourselves including taking care of our hearts typically falls to the bottom of the list. Just today I heard a colleague say, “I need to take some time off. I am so tired, but…” Her lists of reasons were profoundly numerous. They were meaningless to me when I think about my sanity. However, her justification for working entirely too much were legitimate to her. In her mind, there is no way she can take a few days to debrief. Is she being good to herself? Possibly. It is relative. Right?
In today’s climate (increasing unemployment rate, overbearing depression, salary decreases, and unhealthy stress) it is easy to neglect and/or harm yourself. Actually, it is too easy! But, these are the times we have to buckle down. Even as I typed that (buckle down) I imagined someone thinking: ‘What in the h*ll are you talking about, Brian. How in the world can I buckle down when I don’t have straps and latches to buckle to anything?’ So, I take that back. Should I have typed, ‘Keep the faith?’ Conversely, the question can be asked: ‘Extend faith for what?’
That question is real. Just like the command I received: “Be Good to Yourself.” It was so real to me that I concluded that I by no means have been a good steward of being good to myself. Nonetheless, extending some level of faith is somewhat easier for most because one does not have to do much to have faith (just speak it into existence?). Yes, I hear ya, ‘faith without works is dead.’ Really? SO, you mean to tell me that I have to work for my faith to be accurately conceived and manifested? I also have to be good to myself? Wow! What more does one have to do to get there? There being a good place.
Having faith is a no brainer to me…even without working for it. We can just believe –but to be good to oneself has proven to be extremely difficult. How do I know? Check out the number of people incarcerated for foolishness. Drive around an urban area, and notice the mental illness. Travel through a well-to-do neighborhood, and notice the unhappiness. Just conduct a little research on the state of health among Americans.
My conclusion is we are not being good to ourselves. We are killing ourselves spiritually, politically, emotionally, financially, and mentally. This is unacceptable to me! I want more for my life. You?
Please spend the remainder of this Thanksgiving week pampering yourself in whatever healthy way possible. Give something back. Take a moment to consider someone else. There are too many folk doing bad this year. Too many for me to sit down at a dinner table without giving thanks to something/someone. As a matter of fact, I am giving thanks to that wise person NOW by adhering to her gentle and poignant demand.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by 4 words:
BE GOOD TO YOURSELF.
Monday, November 24, 2008
A Jocks’ News:
Terrell Owens is happy. Dallas won this past Sunday. He was definitely a contributor to the victory. He had 7 catches totaling 213 yards and 1 touchdown. So, he is pleased; no complaining from this talented crybaby…well, for now. Nothing amazes me anymore when speaking of TO. He reminds me of a playground wannabe bully who whines when his way does not go his way.
Last Sunday Dovonan McNabb was brave enough to disclose that he had no idea that there can be a tie in the NFL. He received heavy criticism from Philly fans and people who have never played the game – but was immediately defended by teammates and others who have played in the league. I am not a Forty Million Dollar Slave buff. However, I forgave the brotha for his ignorance. My forgiveness was worthless: Andy Reid foolishly decided to bench him this Sunday against B-more. The result: The Eagles got spanked!
Adam Jones…well, since he cannot run from what he is (a screw-up…just like Vick) let me call him, Pacman. The name is quite fitting considering he will undoubtedly prove to the most powerful man in sports, Roger Goodell that he will chomp-up every opportunity given to him. And, when he does find a way to jack his existence up again, the NFL Slave Masters will issue a lifetime ban. A black Pete Rose?
Extraordinary Intellectual Distinction News:
Myron Rolle decided a long time ago that he would be more than a Florida State University free safety. He selected to use his brain power over his ability to be a fool to gain stardom. On Saturday, Rolle entered into an elite class. He became a Rhodes Scholar. Oh! You have not heard this story. But, I am positive if you are an American football fanatic you have read the Jones, McNabb, and Owens news. Right?
Myron, for me, is the news maker and winner this week. He has defied all the critics: “Football players are nothing but dumb jocks.” Not this brotha. To become a Rhodes Scholar is a huge academic accomplishment. He becomes bosom buddies with Bill Bradley, Corey Booker, President Bill Clinton, and many unknowns.
Myron Rolle should be the news today when you navigate to ESPN.com. To NCAAFootball.com. And, to any internet sports page on the world wide web. Will you find the story? Perhaps. Unfortunately, not too many young African American boys will hear of Mr. Rolle. No, they will proudly wear the jersey of a player who their father idolizes because of common athleticism, not intellect.
It does not take much to be an athlete. All you have to do is just play the game. To be a Rhodes Scholar requires: “truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship”. Believe it or not, there are countless athletes who exemplify the characteristics mentioned. We just don’t hear or read about them enough for two reasons: They are not thoroughly covered in the news and for many of us sports’ onlookers these guys are not ‘exciting enough’.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by intelligence over jock-ness.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
This is the question Tony Harris, CNN News Anchor, sarcastically posed while covering yesterday's Big Three on Capitol Hill story. I can't believe that he had the gall to ask if it matters that GM, Ford, and Chrysler get bailed out or not. Yes, it definitely matters, Tony!
If they don't (at this moment it looks like they will not be saved by our government) thousands more men and women will lose their jobs.
Does this Really Matter?
I guess the well-to-do cannot foresee the affects down the road: Working people will become newly unemployed and then they will have to depend on depleting social services to keep them afloat. Yes, I have heard the very valid argument, 'taxpayers need to stop bailing out corporations and businesses.’ But, what about the innocent workforce who are typically among/in the, you guessed it, working poor and/or lower middle class?
Does it Really Matter?
All day I have been watching video clips of these 'time to show my constituents that I care' congressmen blast three well-paid white men for flying in the comforts of a private plane to Washington, DC. In my mind this waste of a complaint does not matter considering the federal government decided YEARS AGO that our means of economic growth and riches in this country would be attained via capitalism. When ya wealthy and gained it honestly, why not ride in luxury? Would you fly First Class if you could pay for it? Most Americans would: We are the Land of Prestige.
While I don't agree with fat cats getting huge salaries/bonuses while their dependable workers struggle (similar to mega church preachers and their congregates), isn't it the American way to make as much money as you can? Since this IS the case in this corrupt country those hypocrites for leaders in DC should back-up-off the CEO's for doing what America set-forth YEARS AGO; and FOCUS on what the impact of a non-bailout will do to the people in Detroit!
How about an overpaid expert take a few days to conduct an analysis of what would happen if 10,000 more people lose their jobs in an automaker town? How about a well-known expert conduct research on what would occur if 5,000 additional people apply for food stamps in one small car making city? Just maybe if this is done, our ‘morally astute’ leaders will get it: An understanding of the strain a non-bailout will cause.
Bail them out!
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by my commitment to buy another American made car.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
It is not unusual for the poor to be forgotten. They are easy to forget. We rarely see them, purposely. We definitely don’t have long drawn out conversations about America’s throwaways. Why would we? We would be forced then to address their issues. Issues that those of us are either unwilling to revisit because we were once among the poor class (too snooty to even think about where we use to be) or we understand that if there is an effective governmental emphasis placed on the destitute there may be a REAL discussion about Socialism: Redistributing wealth and income. Are you willing to give up some of your riches so that the homeless can eat?
Last week I was reminded of my childhood and college poverty all in the same day. Fortunately, the career path that I have taken keeps me connected to the disenfranchised. Nonetheless, I must honestly admit that I have wanted to pretty much mind-block my former poverty timeframes and evade the life of the poor. Why would I want to intermittently think about having to share pieces of cheap soap with my former roommate, Johnny High? Why would I want to face poor people with varying complex issues? My answer to both questions has been the same for the past 10 years: To keep me unpretentious.
Throughout a two year long presidential campaign only two men mentioned poor people, Bob Barr and Dennis Kucinich. Primarily, all I heard from those with enough campaign finances to highjack our emotions were statements pertaining to “the middle class” and “those on Main Street”.
Tavis Smiley, the man black America threw to the wolves just because he challenged The Golden Boy (Obama), touched my conscious Sunday morning while he was a guest on Meet the Press. He said, “All this talk about Main Street America…What about the Americans on the side streets? Those streets we avoid. The streets that prompts us to take another route in our Infiniti’s just because we cannot stand to see the bowls of America.”
I thank Tavis because he was the only member of the press who stood-up for the men and women who just lost their DHL jobs in Ohio. He was the man who once again challenged us to see past our small comfortable worlds. I wonder if the plethora of talk show host will cast him away for bringing forth the truth. For addressing America’s dirty little secret: Poverty among the working poor has been forgotten!
As we go back to normalcy since the charade (the election) is over, I want to challenge each of us (including myself) not to forget where we came from, that’s if you grew-up poor or within ten miles of an urban/rural center that was considered financially downtrodden. I want us not to forget that the attempts to eradicate poverty have been an ongoing battle in the United States of America with NO success. Not sure what the problem is – but for some reason we just can’t eliminate what the poorest of the poor have to endure on the daily: malnourishment, unemployment, paid day loan scams, substandard childcare, Rent-A-Center interest rates, and pawn shop hocking.
Keeping the poor poor may be intentional. What say you?
Written by a man who grew-up on a side street and who is not too proud to admit that if he misses a pay day he is headed to the POOR HOUSE. Inspired by Mr. Tavis Smiley. Black America owes him an apology!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I was one of those people who came to Sarah Palin’s defense. I did in part because she was unfairly getting blasted from the Left and the Right. Either she was not smart enough to be Vice President of the United States (like intelligence is a prerequisite for the American people e.g. Walker Bush) or she was not prepared and/or qualified (like qualification is a prerequisite for the American people e.g. Arnold Schwarzenegger). Another part of me wanted to support Palin simply because she is female. This identification with my feminine side earned me the title, Bleeding Heart Woman Sympathizer.
Over the years several male friends of mine have complained that I give women too much credit when I need to be critically examining their ‘manipulative’ motives and words. This affection I have for women is one of those lingering Baby Boy attachments that I have to my mother: She can NOT do any wrong and she is NOT to blame for any issue she faced while raising two boys and two girls alone. And, while slaving in an air polluted furniture factory for 30 years.
Time (one week) is all that was needed for Republican white men to identify and give credence as to why a black man whipped the behind of a good ole boy who arrogantly believed he surged in the final days: “The Mac is Back”. That was John McCain’s pronouncement as Sarah Palin stood next to him like a good solider should have even while losing. But, now after the thick dust has settled McCain and his sore losing dodgers of responsibility are pointing the finger at a woman who was unknown for so long. Have they forgotten that she was the one who resuscitated McCain’s failing campaign? Did they forget that a few of Hilary’s supporters jumped the democrat ship to support the McCain/Palin ticket? She is what they wanted: Pro Bush, Pro Life, Pro Drilling, Pro War, and Pro NRA. What else could they ask for?
How quickly one forgets when there is a desperate need to find fault. Nonetheless, this is not unusual coming from Jim Crow-favoring white men. They have never owned-up for their missteps and/or misdeeds i.e. the rape of The Continent. Despite the reports, I find it difficult to believe that a senator who can see
Perhaps, I am taking-up for Sarah because she is sexy? No, that’s not it! I am just a man pinning the azz tag on the azzholes: Fuddy-Duddy White Men. These are the men who cannot accept that they got their butts stomped by a frail brotha who walks with a pimp’s swagger.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by those women who are ‘siding’ with
Friday, November 07, 2008
If they can hate someone just because he/she is black tells me a lot about these people. To position your thinking to this disgusting level is nothing less than evil. Remember, we did NOTHING to be objects of their repulsion!! America, a black president, an accepting Generation X and/or Baby Boomer white person will not change the hatred in the bigoted pits of the red states.
Believe me, I understand that most African Americans are aware of this. Putting a black man in that house on Pennsylvania Avenue did not remarkably change our beliefs about the United States. Did it? We can ride this tidal wave of sweet emotion but for so long. Southern reality and US history should be our constant, not passing feelings!
Believe me, I am TRYING my BEST to be POSITIVE about this ancient topic (God knows that I am) - but we have YEARS of hate plagued experience as our example. As our teacher. Should I all of sudden believe that America has really changed because a few states turned blue, the popular vote was somewhat barely won, and because a park filled with people from all walks of life were chanting, “Yes, we did” that all are on one ship in unity? That the evil will defeat itself?
The Ejected Angel’s domineering antics have not ceased for YEARS in spite of our so called God ordained blessings i.e. Jesus, Martin, Gandhi, Medgar, Moses, etc. If God is involved: HE WILL HAVE TO WORK THIS MESS OUT. Keep praying for that one! Are we (people from all backgrounds) incapable of moving past stubborn bias, mind-sets, beliefs, and behaviors to rectify the MESS that we have created? When I say ‘we’ I am pointing most of my index finger at the white man considering he in modern times have held the power that could have prevented so much devastation.
I must admit that I believe BARACK OBAMA IS ANOTHER START. Get that, ‘another start’? Mankind has been in this predicament before. The cemented history dates back to biblical figures. Jesus was hated, despised because what he stood for: CHANGE. Remember?
We can't go through 40 plus more years of this crap! I just stress people look to the past for the future. Not dwell in defeat of it! The past is critical in this case. So critical. I am praying the past does not repeat itself – but should I have this faith considering so many prayers have been unanswered since the Roman’s sponsored the death of God’s Son?
I am also praying that I can FORCE my thoughts to the positive at all times despite the present day realities.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by what is bound to happen: History Repeating Itself.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Taking it all in is a huge task. Of course you have heard the following time and time again:
‘I never thought I would live to see this day’
Well, folk it is here so let’s bask in it. Praise in it. Love in it! But, what we should not do is gloat in it. Gloating, in my mind, is a way to bring forth the insecurities that were there prior to winning, or beating your opponent. These are the defects and short-comings one typically evade or ignore before it is REALLY time to address them with confidence. These are the characteristics of humans that illuminate their negatives. And, to showboat after the victory only displays the ugliness that may still sit deep down in the victor’s subconscious.
On this day and all the ones you will be blessed to have we (Barack Backers) need to do what the African Americans have been remarkably able to do for years: Display Humility and Cordialness in the Eye of the Storm. In the Belly of the Beast. When I think about how black people have had to endure so much humiliation and disrespect, I can only think of how TRIUMPANT we have been in the face of all this un-Godly behavior.
The focus should remain on jubilation. We need to be happy that we were a part of answering James Farmer’s call. We need to be elated that the firemen who were told by Bull Conner to, “Turn on the damn water hose” did not follow that nefarious command. The focus should remain on rejoicing. Graciously cheerful is what we should be when we see that fragile McCain/Palin supporter.
Let’s win with honor. Let’s be what they would have not been if the tables were turned:
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by that white man who could not even look at me today.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Today, I am not interested in taking too much of your time. I am sure you are monitoring CNN! (Side note: This past weekend I entered 3 different African American homes, and guess what? The flat screens were tuned to CNN). All I want to do is share one story/event accompanied by three touching videos. My shared story is not connected to me at all – but it is one that I want to associate myself with for the rest of my life.
While thinking about how I was going to do this (become one with the story) I decided to impart the story of inspiration by giving it a permanent place on my blog. The story is one that we rarely hear or read about anymore. Like the countless accounts we have heard about of our mothers and fathers having to walk to and from school on bitterly cold mornings or like the one we have seen in the Eyes on the Prizes documentaries where our grandparents had to endure racial hatred just to bring forth an American promise: Voting Rights Act.
It is with this Act that A’riel Chisholm acted. After waiting on his voter absentee ballot to arrive for 3 weeks he finally resided himself to the fact that the Pennsylvania Board of Elections either mistakenly forgot to mail it or they purposely did not send it to da brotha (me and my conspiracy theories). So, at about 5PM yesterday (November 3, 2008) he decided that he was going to jump into his high gas price costing SUV, and travel up to Philly. You read that right! Philadelphia!!! A 13 hour drive from Atlanta to vote. Is that dedication? Is that commitment? Is that what he was supposed to do? Yes, it was!
Those of you who read my email commentary know that I often send emails entitled, A Proud Moment. This is a moment when I witness or experience an event where a black person makes me proud. So many have occurred over my 38 years; and I am sure that there will be more to help me look in the mirror and see Black progress. That mirror of mine is full of PROUD MOMENTS that are not connected to material wealth. Thankfully.
Today, is a Proud Moment regardless of the outcome! It is even more special to me knowing that a friend of mine did what he was supposed to do:
Sacrifice for a Better Day
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by A’riel. He did what so many are doing today:
Honoring the Past with Commitment
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Socialism at its Best
There are countless events/decisions that can end a politician’s stint of blissfulness and remarkable popularity. Just call Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Well, there are more than two – but for the sake of the 2008 Presidential Election let me share one with you:
Accusations of being a Socialist
Since elementary school I always wondered why my teachers breezed over the tenets of socialism. They would spend a total of 3 seconds on “the theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”
As I got older, a little wise, and Stokely Carmichael rebellious each year I was FORCED to accept, swallow, and breathe capitalism like it was the only successful way to operate a country. The aggressive public school education coerciveness (arm twisting) was reminiscent of the lectures we received on reasons to despise the then USSR. Unrelenting were the underpaid history and social studies teachers! They behaved robot-ish in an effort to support America’s calculated brainwashing. Similar to impressionable kindergarteners verbalizing the first indoctrination into American-hood: The Pledge of Allegiance. Almost like McCain and Palin supporters: Programmed to think and believe whatever the Republican Machine sees fit. Like the false insinuation that Barack Obama wants “the death of Israel”.
Now, it is time for Barack’s robots and those people STILL undecided to resist the infiltration of fear tactics. But, I have to ask, ‘What is there to fear in regards to socialism? The way I see it socialism may just be a better structure for the United States considering capitalism has been abused and proven to work only for the top 1%, the wealthy. For those coal miners and Joe the Plumbers who believe it has worked they must be living on Mars. GOP loyal at its best! But, of course, our government, particularly bad temper John McCain backers are hypocrites if they fail to acknowledge that congress has not adopted the following:
…systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
Didn’t the United States government recently become owners of the world’s largest insurance company (AIG)? Didn’t the United States government recently become CEO’s of several banks? Both are initiatives taken to control the economy and centralize high dollar services.
Furthermore, what has this government done over the past 6 weeks that would immune it from socialistic tendencies?
I will tell you what they will not do with there newly accepted Marxist theory:
A) They will not share the profits from the most crooked and legalized business (insurance) with the people.
B) They will not replenish the money lost in millions of 401K’s.
C) They will not lower banking fees that drain the struggling American.
D) They will not bailout the people who really need foreclosure assistance.
E) They will not reinvest in America’s former strength: The automobile industry.
Our government has no plan to do what brave Fidel Castro did with Cuba’s sugar cane proceeds; and this corrupt government will never redistribute the wealth that was obtained illegally by greedy corporate bosses who were/are in cahoots with politicians, cunning board members, and yes - former slave owners. Thus making them the new mafia with taxpayer paid salaries.
I thank Barack Obama for being a real radical socialist. He is my new Ernesto Che Guevara. A fighter for the people. A man wanting to ensure all Americans eat. He is not some spineless talking head who coyly promotes socialism in legislation – but fails to stand by its banner.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by the lost and now found audio tape of the real Barack Obama. I knew I would end up loving this black man!
Monday, October 27, 2008
We are becoming immune to senseless killing. In a span of 10 days here in Atlanta two people have been struck by a stray bullet. Last week it was a black mother of three. While braiding one of her daughters hair in their living room a bullet came flying through the window and struck her in the back. Dead on Arrival. Earlier this morning (October 27, 2008) a 19 year old black man was hit by a bullet while he slept on his sofa. Dead on Arrival. And, we all know about the latest atrocity to plague the landscape of Chicago: Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew slain. Killed by whom? We all know the answer to that question will be: A Black Man.
How I wish Jennifer’s mother would have abandoned that hateful black community. Lord, if only she would have gotten fed-up with the gun shots. Gun shots, by the way, several people reported that they heard on that tragic morning – but were unmoved by what is all too common in the hood: Gun Fire!
Isn’t it ruefully telling when no one runs for cover anymore after hearing semi-automatic weapons pop-off? I remember when I use to go to Aggie Fest (a former A & T State University Spring Party) it never failed for some black fool to pretend he was in the Wild Wild West. When we heard the shots back then we ran. Ran for cover and after the commotion ceased we would look for the injured. Nope, not these days. We are sadly accustomed to the mayhem: No one came a running for Jason and Darnell after the bang-bangs!
Mayhem takes me back to my original point: Where is the disturbance? Where are the lawful disorders and/or protests? Why aren’t we, BLACK PEOPLE, blog complaining about this? Are we so far gone that we ignore the death of our future? Or, is it that we are just USE to the local news that we tune into? Yeah, that’s it we are in-tune with the Shadow of Death that lurks in our neighborhoods. Step by step. Stride by stride. Quiet. But armed and ready to YELL in resistance as soon as a white man calls Barack Obama a Sambo.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by Julian King.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I just can’t stop thinking about ‘what if’. What if this physical therapist decided she wanted to do me in? Literally destroy my life! Again, all she had to do was say to a police officer, ‘That’s him. Number 4. He sexually assaulted me.’ What was I suppose to think while alone with her? No receptionist. No nurse. No one – but the two of us. A black man and a white well respected PT. My word against hers: I would definitely lose!
Losing is America’s predicament at this very moment in time. Here we are 10 days away from electing the BEST candidate for president of the United States, and we are dolefully rediscovering that many of America’s people have yet to relinquish the dirt spot that has not been washed away by what this country prides itself on: Diversity. We just can’t get rid of the demoralizing and sickening stain! I thought we were moving in that direction when we witnessed Lilly white Iowa unify to uplift Barack Obama during the primaries. I would be lying if I said I was not hopeful. I, with caution, started to believe what my fourth grade teacher told me: “This is America. You are somebody, and the color of your skin does not matter.”
Sadly, my black skin was of relevance on this day of painful backrubs. My therapy was going great – but I thought about the DANGER I put myself in. I should have told the physical therapist, ‘I do not feel comfortable in here alone with you. It’s not that I am afraid you will harm me. No, I am afraid that if something tragic was to happen to you after I leave your office they (the police) will come directly to my house; and I would be a person of interest.’ Yes, I agree that anybody would be a suspect (white, black, or brown) under those circumstances. Nonetheless, who do you think the detectives would lean on the heaviest?
We all know the answer: The Black Man.
I mentioned in a previous commentary that Barack Obama cannot run from his blackness. It is the number one fear factor in America’s despicable and embarrassing atmosphere today. Some try to camouflage their racist bias with allegations of Barack being a Muslim which is an attack on Islam, with attempts to connect him to a man Fox News is calling a terrorist, and the same lame effort to resuscitate Jeremiah Wright. Again, they are desperate.
But, perhaps not as desperate as I was all evening yesterday. As I watched Atlanta’s crime-riddled news, all I could think about was: ‘I pray that there is not a report of a young physical therapist murdered in her converted home-based doctor’s office’. Paranoia was definitely settling-in. However, being paranoid was not farcical. This is Georgia! Being black is a constant reality here if a black person ventures 30 minutes outside of the black hubs: Covington HWY, Redan Road, Old National HWY, and Cascade Road.
Barack Obama left the mainland this week to visit his ill grandmother, Madelyn Dunham. I wonder if this eighty-six year old matriarch is aware of the changes the United States have made? I wonder if she is aware that her grandson is still judged by the color of his skin and not by the content of his character?
America, the Greatest Disappointment.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by recognizing the danger I was in the other day.
These sentiments are spoken loudly by the thousands of available Black men who find it illogical to simply state "No good men exist." Many Black men don't understand the social reasoning behind the female belief that there is a Black male shortage. To men, it appears that women have become so enthralled with the notion of there being a shortage -- many don't take the time to notice the Black men who are available. It is here that we begin to explore the depths of the problem.
Women aren't looking for just any guy. They seek men of quality, good character, and substance -- which has nothing to do with numbers. Since guys are supposed to be more logical creatures, we tend to crunch numbers. We also tend to take a more tangible position by believing that if they can hear us, touch us, and see us -- how can they say there aren't enough of us?
But ask any woman -- she will likely tell you that plenty of brothas exist, but not many with whom she would want to spend quality time. Also, there is an argument from Black women who believe that there are specific reasons for the shortages. For instance, the numbers of Black men residing in prisons, and the many Black men who choose to date women of other races.
Going back to our 100-Women to 87-Men ratio, the following stats my shed some light on where Black women say the available Black men are hiding:
Chances are, Black men who desire White females today, desired them yesterday and will probably desire them for the foreseeable future. We cannot assume that a Black man dates Black women his entire life; has a bad experience; and as a result, decides to explore life with a White female. We're not hating on White women, but how much of the 87 should we subtract? Let's choose a medium-sized number like 20 to denote the total unavailable to Black women.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of Black men serving time in local, state and federal prisons. But women must ask themselves, "Why would I want a man who commits crimes serious enough to land him behind bars?" Don't get me wrong. We still love our imprisoned brothas, and some of them have been incarcerated unjustly. But this issue is relative and depends on each woman's definition of, "good brotha". If women desire men of integrity and great moral fiber, then we should subtract another medium-sized number (20) from the group of 87. This accounts for the sad numbers of brothas who just aren't living right and don't deserve a spot in society.
Men who are homosexual, bisexual, or live outside of what society calls, "heterosexual" -- make up another medium-sized number since they don't typically seek relationships with women. Strangely enough, there are some bisexual men who also desire to be in heterosexual relationships. However, most heterosexual women don't knowingly choose to date a bisexual man. So again, we subtract (20) from the group of 87 to account for gay men, and other men who aren't considered "straight".
Now we have the Big Three. According to Black women and many within the Black community, these three situations create a wedge that has been driven between Black women and available "good" Black men.
But what does it all mean?
It means that in reality, only 87 - 60 = 27 available Black men are actually, "available" for the 100 Black women in our Census stats. This is, of course, assuming there are 100 available, good Black women out there.
If we assume there are, then the ratio reveals some pretty low numbers.
Now, the task for our sistas is to locate one of the 27 men who is considered, "good".
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Barack Obama is perfect example also. He is everything that exemplifies BEAUTY. Intelligent: Graduated from Harvard. A hard working man: Dedicated his life to service. Inspiring: Draws huge crowds. Articulate: He is a master of the English language and uses it in a way to MOVE the crowd. A parent: Raising two attractive young black girls. Married: A great husband. In a nutshell, Barack Obama has become the American Dream. He has secured it with grace, integrity, humility, and with patience.
But, there is one thing that lingers and typically not associated with the American Dream: He is BLACK.
Last week the entire world was reminded that he carries a stigma. A nasty trait. A defect. He is a black man in America. With all his accolades and accomplishments he will be a Spook in the White House. Yes, this is what he is to millions of white people in the Great United States. Not just the red states either! The stinking corpse-like conscious of America is in every corner of this failing country. Are you surprised by this:
We (black folk) should not have expected anything different. As soon as the losers (Republican Party and their pathetic followers) finally accepted that they are about to take a L (Barack will win – but they will find a way to steal and cheat again) they decided to send a hate-filled reminder to Barack, his loyal white followers, and the rest of the world that he is BLACK. That dreaded and seldom used crayon: “That one”. ‘That one” is typically reserved for describing the unwanted. The useless item or being. Right?
Even in my disdain for this expected behavior from angry John McCain, hollow-head Sarah Palin, and the sell-out for a black man who begged McCain to “stick it to him (Barack)” I concluded a long time ago that Barack Obama would eventually be reattached to his blackness in the late stages of the campaign. What other flaw does he possess at this late stage that sticks? The gorilla in the room (racism) never did go to sleep!!
Nonetheless, with my Black Power disposition, the most disappointing action made by Barack was his decision to somewhat distance himself from his darkness: Black People. Regardless, of what we want to believe we all know Barack Obama was forced to diss black people. He never ‘pandered’ to us. He went to a black church and told white America that black men are dead beats in so many words. Then he tragically disowned and disavowed his pastor of 20 years.
Now, before I get blasted, consider the truth:
He had to do it. It was a must to not appear sympathetic to the black community. No one white likes someone who truly loves black people and who would die for them e.g. Farrakhan, Sharpton, etc. If Obama showed the slightest concern for the black hosiery mill worker he would have been labeled that Russian term: Chyórniy.
Isn’t that ironic? Here is a black man who has done what they (most of white America) wanted so that he could get elected president of this God Awful Country, and now he is what (the color black in countless languages):
NEGRO, ZWART, NERO, SCHWARZ, NOIR
In the past few days Barack’s campaign had to air an ad that reinforced his white heritage to appease these back-wood zealots. I guess being part white helps. Isn’t that something?
I really want to ask, who da fool? But, I do realize that question is inappropriate, and probably does not make any sense at the moment considering the election has not occurred. Nevertheless, it is a question Jeremiah Wright and some Black Power heroes are asking and prefacing before they conclude with:
‘I told you so, Barack Obama. They, at their core, hate you because you are black. No other reason. You had to know that abandoning your race was a prerequisite? Or, are you still hoping that you will not be connected to what you are to them?’
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by my prayer:
Dear Lord, regardless of Barack’s skin tone please help those plagued with hatred to see Barack Obama as what he is, The Change We Need. We are counting on you, Jehovah.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
In my continued effort to hear, and then attempt to understand both sides I have endured your overly conservative radio talk show for eight months. It has definitely been a ride! At times I was reminded of a time in my life when I had the inability to stomach information that was different from my views and opinions. Those were the days when I would foolishly walk out of a conference or training session where the facilitator uttered oppositions of my mindset. Those days are over, Sean.
Over the years I have forged a shield of intellectual beliefs that are impenetrable. Not even an undercover racist, like you, can frustrate me. But, I must admit that you have been surprisingly informative and thoroughly insightful. I thank you for that. However, you have also been sadly disappointing.
Initially, you did a remarkable job sharing the right-winged spin. Hard-hitting and piercing. The way you intertwined your interpretation of the facts with America’s reality was not only impressive, it was brilliant. Inconsequently, you have been unrelenting with an analysis that’s rooted in white fear, guilt, and self-controlled racism. Controlled in the sense you have yet to call Barack Hussein Obama what your damnation disposition spews: Ni**er.
Without referring to Obama as a light skin House Negro you have been understandably effective at convincing your wealthy, tight-behind, trailer park, and Jesus fanatical Christian followers that Barack Obama is a Black Panther Party radical who is ready to paint America’s Dysfunctional House BLACK. Black in the REAL sense of the word! Black to the point that you along with your steamy red neck followers are fearfully thinking that we (black folk) under the guidance of Fruit of Islam Brother Barack Obama are planning to do what your ancestors did to us.
Not the case, Black America does not have the testicular fortitude or the evil desire to KILL WHITEY. Thankfully we don’t!
Mr. Hannity, haven’t you determined that we are a forgiving people? We, by the grace of God and with a little naivety, have moved from the seat you sit in. We discovered a long time ago it was not beneficial to be hate-filled. Unlike you, Sean, your hate has consumed you. It has taken over your spirit, and I am not amazed that the networks you work for have not disarmed you. Taking your microphone would not help anyway. There are too many more like you out there. Like your weak pain killer taking friend, Rush!
If I am coming across as hateful, forgive me. I have been listening to hate for eight months, remember?
Each and every time I press 1 on my radio at 4PM Eastern, I get Sean Hannity on 750AM. Your hate seeps through my cheap car speakers. It finds its way into my mental domain. But, I have yet wanted you dead like you appear to want for Barack. I can literally feel your disdain in every word spouted about out next President. It is the level of disgust that boils over when one is about to lose. Lose everything! Lose when one (the white man) is accustomed to winning by any means necessary.
Sean Hannity, I never thought you would look so defeated. You sound so empty. You are pathetic. A sore loser. Where is your loser’s dignity? What a shame. Once respected – but now you are taking yourself to the lowest of lows: ‘Bill Ayers this and Tony Resco that.’ I cannot believe you have allowed yourself to become a broken record. Where is your substance? When you and your Republican cronies have no where else to turn you become hypocrites just like your dead Forefathers e.g. Washington, Jefferson, and including Reagan!
What else do you have to malign Obama besides a so called “friendship with an unrepentant terrorist”? How much longer will you spit Jeremiah Wright flames? Aren’t you tired of trying to connect what cannot be connected?
Desperation has set in. You remind me of a person who has nothing left. Similar to Mike Tyson’s ear biting rage. He was losing and could not deal with it so he behaved like an untamed animal. Sean, you are looking undisciplined. Typically, when one gets to this level of personal disgust he/she is either ready to surrender or to do something additionally stupid. What will it be, Sean?
Please don’t kill your cousins, Mr. Hannity. We will need their votes come November 4, 2008 to defeat the big bad war hero. By the way, where I come from one is NOT a hero if one is captured.
You are a Great American, Sean. Just like your slave master kinfolk.
With grace and dignity,
Brian E. Payne
Sean’s Hypocrisy Revealed:
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I recall the previous day that OJ was found Not Guilty. I was living in Antigua at the time. Antiguans were glued to their radios. I was on a transport, small van designed to seat eight people, but typically for developing countries their were at the least 18 people riding toward St. John’s on this day, the capital city of the island. When the verdict was read the van started to bounce like the Scooby Doo van! Literally, we were bouncing off the ground. The joy that was expressed was surprisingly remarkable. I was feeling elated and I had that feeling you get when you are hoping that something goes your way when in fact you know it should not. That small taste of guilt for feeling the way I did not last long. How could it? I was on a van with my fellow Antiguans singing and banking-heading down a dangerous one lane road!
This morning (Saturday, October 04, 2008) I am not happy. I am disappointed. I am disturbed. My Saturday mood is stained with the vision of OJ getting handcuffs placed around his wrist and him crying. Why am I so distraught? I asked myself that over and over again on my walk to the coffee lounge. When I arrived the answer hit me after I saw my friend standing behind the counter. He was chatting with a customer. A white female who by the way was drinking a beer at 8AM. At that moment my thought process went here:
One of the owners (my friend) of this place is a black man. He on all accounts has fulfilled one of his dreams. He is successful. He is educated. He is loved by all his patrons. However, with all the accolades that I can continue to list about this black man he could have walked out the very same door I walked into this morning last night, and could have been accused of robbing the place. Why? Because he is BLACK.
No, I am not making any excuses for Mr. Simpson or attempting to make white people feel guilty. Not that many would anyway! I am not even ‘supporting’ him on this one. What I am doing is trying to establish a social parallel.
Here is my sleepy attempt:
It does not matter who and/or what you are in America if you are a black man. You are still their n*gger that they will GET if you give them a reason. (Well, slow ya roll Brian, Barack Obama has some how changed countless minds. He does have their liberal support for now – but when they have that moment of alone time behind that voting booth curtain they will have this thought I am CERTAIN: ‘Should I really vote for a black man.’) The photo above could be a snapshot of any black man reading this attempt to express myself. Think about it, all that had to happen to you was something similar to what OJ experienced in Vegas months back. You could have been trying to retrieve something that was stolen from you. For example, I could have tried to get back my cherished and valuable portraits of Muhammad Ali and Fidel Castro from a theft.
Also, it could be a picture of the owner of Lattetude, Antoine McNeal in the silver wrist jewelry. Remember, he was in fact leaving a building late last night (his place of business). Any white or black cop could have thought he was a crook. And, if my boy would have protested he would have what? Been in handcuffs and later in a cell all weekend!
Again, let them have this one. No need to issue a statement of support for OJ Simpson. He is going to jail for the rest of his life regardless of what we say or do. Our energy on this day should be directed toward teaching our young black boys what it means to be a black man in America. Perhaps, if we do this they will not be disappointed like I and other black men were when the white man tried to slap us back into our place.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a black man, tears, handcuffs, and white men who place cuffs on black men.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Speaking of “over”, when will this gas crisis in Georgia completely run its course? As I typed this journal entry I noticed that the gas line down at Kroger’s gas station was popping. Cars were everywhere. Some were idled. Others were being pushed. Running out of gas while in a quarter mile long line trying to get gas is… Well, I am not sure how to characterize that. However, that might be me in a few days.
As I sat there reminiscing about my Saturday mornings at Winston Street laundromat in Thomasville, North Carolina, I noticed that there is a Washington Mutual across the street. Didn’t I read a report that they were ‘going under’? Acquired by JPMorgan Chase? Yes, that’s the bank that prided itself on serving the community. Their intentions for years have been to be the opposite of the locally-based/ big monster banks e.g. Chevy Chase Bank. WaMu actually tried to be there for the average brother and sister. Somewhat like credit unions and unlike those Wall Street crooks.
Back to my experience at Spin Cycle. This is what I witnessed:
*A rude Korean man owns and manages the facility. He can barely speak English – but yet he selects to bark instructions in his limited English. America, the Melting Pot. How about learning to speak some ENGLISH!
*A black mother trying her best to teach her teenage daughter how to wash and fold clothes the RIGHT way. Surprisingly, the teenager was receptive, listening, and learning. There is hope for our children!
*A yuppie looking white man wearing tennis shorts and a Polo shirt looking lost and scared as h*ll. I guess me and the other brother were too much for him: Big and Black!
*A pack of South Americans speaking Guarani loudly. Having no regard for the homeless man who was trying to sleep before the Korean owner noticed him and his Army camouflage bag. He was probably one of America’s unappreciated veterans!
*An African brother who wanted to say hello – but was hesitant to greet me. I wonder why? He was washing his blues, whites, reds, and yellows all together. He knows better than that. Done got to America and abandoned his village up-bringing!
*A grey beard black man riding a bicycle with a six year old on the handlebars. No joke! Guess he did not have any gas. He needs a damn car seat on that bike though!
And, then there was me. A tall dark skin man on a laptop sizing everybody up. Using them for my next annotation. They had no clue I was eavesdropping and staring. They also were unaware that I was relishing in how peaceful and relaxed I felt. How I appreciated having to conduct a chore with them. It was a moment that took me back to my simple days in Dominica (picture attached). It was my moment of humility. But, after time passed all I could think about were those impatient people waiting in their vehicles for gas. The frustration and anger that was displayed was amazing. If there wasn’t someone rudely blowing their horn there was someone yelling, “I was here first!” Sounds like something a kid would say. Right?
These people were grown-ups. Adults behaving like children. Somewhat similar to the way our elected officials behaved last week: ‘No, this bailout plan will work. ‘No, this one will work.’ While these men and women argued over how much money we (tax payers) would have to pay back, some of us have decided to embody the Capitol Hill juvenile antics. I assume running low on gas changes people?
America is not only tinkering on total collapse, it is suddenly and predictably showing its true identity. We, the people, are spoiled, intolerant, and hasty. Accustomed to having it easy. How many of us would be willing or even able to wash clothes like the women in the picture?
We fail to realize that waiting in long lines for gas or for any basic necessity is a regular occurrence in some of the countries that we have the disrespectful audacity to label, Third World. Most Americans with their pompous demeanor can’t conceptualize that we are moving toward what we have labeled as 3rd World. Hondurans, El Salvadorans, Haitians, Rwandans, and many more ‘foreign’ people are sitting back waiting. Waiting on America to respond like a true world leader – but we are proving to them that our strength is hiding behind our bogus sense of security and vainglorious confidence.
At the least we should be able to wait in a line without cursing the traffic attendant. Nope, not too many of us can. When I completed this narrative I thought about if I could have endured 60-90 minutes of waiting to touch a dirty gas pump handle. After a serious self analysis I concluded that I am NOT mentally ready to go get gas.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by wishing I would have never left Dominica.
If you have a book coming out on January 20, 2009 (Presidential Inauguration Day) that 'highlights' one of the presidential candidates - and you are scheduled to moderate a 'what administration will end-up in the White House' debate; additionally you have somewhat indicated your allegiance to a political party, you may not be the best suited person to moderate the Vice Presidential Debate. Right? Particularly, understanding that the author stands to make millions if her favored candidate is sworn in on the 20th. Or, could I be just biased myself? Paranoid?
What do you think?
Can Gwen Ifill be unbiased?
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by something that can be accomplished/obtained in this world if only we try: FAIRNESS.