Posts Tagged ‘Black people’

WriteI’m a Write or Die kind of writer, so I’ve been writing the entire time I was away from WP. Never taking a moment to not scratch on white-lined or blank computer screens. Whether it was a story, an unpublished blog, or poetry, I write to become a better writer.  “To not write is to die” – CT

To my fans I apologize to the both of you but, it’s once again writing season for Cerebellum Tellum and I’m back with a muted-vengeance cause people are watching.

Oh, it’s been a long time on the sidelines, I feel like Jonas Gray of the Patriots being benched for being late to practice, feeling like I’m late to these digital pages so I’m rushing through like a running-back to get my words to touchdown into your brains.

Since last we hung out, there have been countless crimes against the humanity of Black men and women all over this country. The cries of injustice are real and are being heard all over the world and yet, the dominant society fails to yield to moral pressure. The recent caricaturization of historical lynchings with captions saying, “I can’t breathe” is tasteless, hurtful and is maliciously courting the wrath of an already angry people.

Two thousand fourteen started out with a racist bang and it looks like the trend continued up to the end of the year. Now, I don’t mean to come back just to harp on the negative things going on but, there’s a whole lot of negative things going on.

Sanford, FL – Ferguson, MO – Staten Island, NY – Main Street, America…

It feels like open season on our lives, it feels like folks are still scratching and scraping for freedom and justice that was mistakenly promised to us. We really want to believe in the American dream but, we’ve only been able to cuddle up with the nightmares that this country has expeditiously expedited on our lives. Under our current POTUS, racism, white supremacy and police brutality have been on the rise. Our CIC (Commander In Chief) has been painfully silent; more so than any other President in history on race issues. We knew George Bush didn’t like Black people (thanks Kanye) but damn, at least he served the interests of people that looked like him.

I think most of us who express disappointment in the Presidents lack of or dismissive responses to the struggles of black folks, forgets that, WE didn’t support him financially. WE didn’t do what was needed to put a Black Agenda under a Black President in place. Yeah we voted, we prayed, we danced but, to a politician, that’s all we did. Money talks, so we get stuck with 4th or 5th string treatment when it comes to what he can and is willing to do for us. We can’t expect him to do for us just as he does for every other “group”, they’ve contributed heavily to his presidency. So, you heard it hear first, we all we got.

Whack Friday

Many Black Americans stood in solidarity withholding our dollars and not spending on the biggest retail days of the year. According to ATLANTA BLACKSTAR, on Black Friday 2014, there was an 11% drop in sales across the nation. Of course analyst and mainstream media are downplaying a loss of 7 Billion dollars on lack of interests in Black Friday and downplaying the magnitude and importance of the black dollar to American retail.

If you ask me, WE are waking up. #nojusticenoprofit #notonedime #boycottblackfriday (you can also check TIME Magazine if you need more proof) I hope that if Black Americans are not spending wastefully, that we are saving or making investments that will benefit ourselves and our families in the long run and not just a temporary fix. Invest wisely and put your money towards long term solutions that will improve financial institutions, schools and hospitals, businesses and organizations in our communities.

While millions around the world protest and die-in, we should be trying to make a true, actual and tangible and financial difference in the neighborhoods we live in. Let’s #stopkillingeachother, let’s #buildupeachother, let’s #worktogether and stop walking around with our hands up and keep our heads up instead.

Look America, I just want to write. These words need to be heard, like spoken words and proverbs!

Cerebellum Tellum isn’t trying to beat you over the head with wit or writ or endless tirades about how I feel about the unrest in the world but, this is my blog and I kinda like it here. It’s warm and welcoming and it gives me a platform to express myself in a ttolaly dffiernet way. (Hope you caught that) I welcome conversation and look forward to typing to all of you and giving shout outs because you followed my page. 🙂

It feels good to be back, I just hope it feels as good to you as it is for me.

– CT
#blacklivesmatter

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Michael Jordan doesn’t care about Black People. Like Kanye West courageously shouted on national television, about how he felt then president George W. Bush felt about Black people during the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the screw up that followed.  I personally feel the same way about Mr. Jordan and other athletes but, this is about MJ. He is in a position, a well paid position; that allows an exploitative condition to be created for some of our less informed Brothers and Sisters to fall into. One of the highest paid and greatest athletes of ALL time, shackled by his surname to a product, an expensive brand that creates death and drama in poor Black communities.

Death. Violence. Capitalism.

How is MJ to be blamed? He knows exactly what’s going on outside of the sneaker stores – mothers and fathers fighting, kids dying, police being called in to control the ravenous crowds that come out in droves to purchase these shoes. The majority of these people can barely pay their rents, live check to check, neglect their children but, still find a way to spend over $300 on his sneakers. That’s not his fault but, his marketers control the euphoria that draws people to it.  On the flip-side, is it fair to completely blame him?

For 30 Years, we have chosen to be enslaved to a product. Materialism has been likened to psychosis; this is a sickness of consumption…

I’ve always wondered, what is more important to African-Americans? Do we really NOT care about the future, about our lives, the lives of our children and the lives of others? Are we that broken, that we refuse to try to do the slightest things to fix the problems that plague us and our communities.  I think of the hair industry – Black women spend billions (b) of dollars a year on someone else’s hair.  I can only imagine, if MJ or MJB put their name on a wig it would sell like hot combs!  I’m also reminded of a quote, “Rich people stay rich by living like they are poor and poor people stay poor by living like they’re rich.” True right?

Our priorities are all jacked up and it adds to our Slave Narrative of 2014 and possibly beyond.

In light of the glorification of Slavery in dramatic and cinematic exhibition, I wanted to start a conversation about our current condition. Let’s talk about our current Slave status.  Not in a speculative sense; let’s literally discuss where we are when it comes to accepting the fact that we are mainstream Slaves.  Slaves to materialism and consumerism. We get caught up in the razzle-dazzle of “buying things” and line dance our way into the money-grubbing hands of capitalists that make you think you need to spend money that you don’t have on products you don’t need.

The amount of money we spend during holidays is sickening. Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day to name a few; on these days, the African-American dollar is looooong….However, we are the bottom of the list again, when it comes to charitable contributions and circulating money in our communities.

I feel this way about all Americans but, African Americans must do better. We have fewer resources but, expend up to 3 times as much as our European counterparts.

Now,  I’m not trying to be right or wrong; that will be decided by you, the readers but, this obsession over Jordans is crazy and it has to stop! Period. Point. Blank!

Michael Jordan and other “High Society”, Blacks do not care about the plights of poor Black people. They are somehow immune from issues that affect the “little people” due to their economic statuses.  These are people that are trying coming up from the bottomless pits, trying to get out of the same dark places that many of them came from.

We have to send them a message that they will not continue to profit from our suffering.

Stop feeding the machine. Stop buying Jordans!

 

CT

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OMG! You’re Brack?

I was recently told a story about an African-American male who’d been discriminated against but, not really.

Let me explain.

One of his customers whom he’d only had phone relationships with said Merry Christmas to him last month, in which he replied that he doesn’t really get into Christmas, because he celebrates Kwanzaa.  Then she said, “Kwanzaa is for the Black people, wait, you’re Black?”  Yes, was his reply and from there she went on and on about how she didn’t know that and that she was amazed that he spoke so well.  Now oddly, she is Chinese and from what I was told her “Engrish” wasn’t all that up to par.  However, her amazement stemmed from the fact that she’d only been exposed to “difficult” Blacks that frequent her store and constantly gave her a hard time.  Every time that they talk now, she continues to listen in amazement as he speaks and conducts his business, always complimenting him at the end of the phone calls for being the professional that he always was before she knew what color he was.

How does that make you feel?  I know it makes me feel good and bad at the same time.  Good to know that this young man is well spoken, polite and handles his business, the bad/unfortunate part is that her expectation of all Blacks is likely in the negative.  It doesn’t take anyone outside of our race to define us.  Not by how we speak, dress or wear our hair, her prejudice and dim-witted thinking is the modus operandi of lots of Americans.  Guilty until proven innocent and it’s not until it’s been proven that we are safe enough to be included in certain professional and educational circles, that we get a proverbial pass.

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Yeah, what you thinking?

If you are too Black too Strong, you will have a mark on you other than the skin you are in.  You’re labeled, categorized, placed into a funnel that continuously sucks you down.  Why?  Isn’t being who you are a part of what we were taught as children; your individualism is what makes you special right?  Now, as adults many of us or “you” have to conform to someone else’s standards to fit in.  How many stories have we heard about people of color being turned away from jobs that they were worthy and well qualified for?  Only to be passed over by an equally or under qualified white person.  This happens in every aspect of life; from business to the arts, if you Black you have a strike against you and it’s not a matter of fairness, it just is.

A man or woman can’t be who they want to be when they’re being something or someone else that they are not.  We put on masks at work or out on the streets, come home and we are different people.  Conformity is not normal.  It’s a quick fix to the problem of you being you and they love it.  Is that success?

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. ~ Booker T. Washington

A lot of us like to blame the “Man” for our failures.  Blaming whites for keeping the Black man down, is a poor excuse that is used to distract others from our own individual failures. Pathetic self-lies that we tell ourselves to talk ourselves out of reaching for our dreams.  “Oh, I can’t do this.  I can’t do that.  No one is going to do anything for me.”  Then do for self, is what I say.

The young man recently received an email from his boss saying that his customer service was great and that the “customers” really enjoy working with him.  It was the same company and the same lady that took her story of the “Amazing Brack Man” to the very top and is now throwing all kinds of praise and rewards at his feet because he’s an “exceptional nigger.”  Where have we heard that term before?  I think it was in 12 Years a Slave, how Solomon Northup, the free man turned slave was somewhat special.  He could read, he could play music and was a carpenter; is this a fair analogy of the young man? I don’t know but, it wasn’t until his race became a highlight, that he received “exceptional” attention that wasn’t necessarily the attention that he wanted or was working for.

He never questioned his Asian colleague about her culture or why her accent was so bad, he just did his job.  Her ethnicity was never under review, he knew who she was and that was it, a colleague, now he’s the Black colleague that speaks very well.

Until the colour of a man's skin Is of no more significance than the color of his eyes -

Until the color of a man’s skin
Is of no more significance than the color of his eyes –

How does this play in the rest of our society?  There are millions of us that speak articulately, work like professionals and are dedicated-educated, is it possible that America doesn’t know that we exist or does America fail to believe that good Blacks can still exist in this torn up culture of ours?  Where images of our men are bordered by white chalk lines or saggin jeans and our women are naked, single, pregnant and poor?  That’s how Chinese media views African-Americans in this country.  Asian media is ripe with caricatures and sambo-esque pictures that mock and belittle the existence of Black people all over the globe.  Just like newspapers and comics in the US a little more than a century ago, other countries have taken up the art of showing us to their part of the world in a racist negative light.

Chinese racism

Dis is some bull….

Now as far south into the realm of negativity this could go, as a blogger I’m supposed to be subjective but, this time I’ll remain on the objective side of the scale and try to end this blog peacefully. (*@&%$#)

In order to change the perception of the world and America (yes, it’s in its own little world) we as African-Americans need to stop giving these people excuses and material to use against us.  We are the ones that are holding ourselves back from competing with everyone else for jobs, education, home-ownership and the realization of the American Dream, which isn’t really bad if you think about it.

I don’t think the color of your skin disqualifies you instantly from success; it may also hinge on your individual definition of success.  Personally, I’m successful does that mean that I drive fancy cars and live high up on the hog? No, but it means to me that I’ve reached a certain level where I feel I’ve achieved a sense of accomplishment, doing the work that I love to do.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The implication that your skin color impedes success can affect you if you want to conform and assimilate.  If you are an against the grain person, you’ll likely have less stress and less heartache and pain when you are not accepted to certain circles, clubs or corporations.  Nevertheless, we do deserve a fair share.  We do deserve to be heard and not just seen.  Perception is the epicenter of our innermost thinking.  We conceive and conceptualize our realities through our eyes and ears and are sometimes fooled terribly by them.

I wonder what kind of revolution it would take to free these close-minded people from the realities they’ve created for themselves.  A revolution of the mind comes to mind and it won’t be televised or digitized, it will be an awaking of the masses to fight against the prejudiced precursors that lead to institutionalized racism and its ugly way of blocking Black success.

In the end, success shouldn’t be pre-determined by social or racial allusions, it should be a reflection of your indomitable spirit that works hard for the rewards that you receive.  Success is more than a euphoric feeling of accomplishment; it’s a way of life that was once guaranteed in our pledges of allegiance, where liberty and justice for all, paved the way for everyone to be successful.

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CT

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Nobody likes to “get got”.

To those that know me, I’m no fan or follower of BET (Black Entertainment Television). Do they still call it that?  It’s like KFC, they no longer call it Kentucky Fried Chicken, because they aren’t selling real chicken anymore and BET, suffice to say isn’t providing real entertainment. BOOM!

I haven’t seen anything to entertain my Blackness since Donnie Simpson said his green-eyed goodbye in 1997.  Wow, that’s a long time and an even longer time of dealing with these abysmal forms of inaptly-labeled entertainment.  Disasters like Lil’ Wayne and Gucci Mane and countless others, bog our minds down with noise, not music, noise that tramples our brains with thick-soled shoes and they want to call that shit Hip Hop.  So, BET: We Got You!  It’s the new slogan that basically says, “We have you roped in, you will listen to the crap we play and you will enjoy it because you have no choice in the matter, your thoughts, actions, words and your soul belong to us!”

Maybe, they just got you?  You know like, they got your back or they got that $50 you need for the store, or they can babysit the kids.  That kind of “got you”, or it could be the other kind of “got”. Nobody likes to get “got”.  You hear about dudes turning the wrong corner and they meet up with the wrong group of people and they get got, it’s usually something unfavorable.  Or, speeding down the street and you don’t see the police but they see you; so you just got “got”. So maybe it’s a bad choice of 3 words. 3 words?  “We Got You”, BET has 3 letters, BET was sold for 3 billion dollars, the devils number is 666 which are 6 3’s, oh my God, BET is the Devil!  (Play along with me here.)

In essence, that is what its saying.  There are young males and females and grown men and women, who rush to get home to herd around the TV to catch whatever is playing on BET.  The only show that I hear about is 106 & Park or maybe The Game?  Who knows and who cares!?  There’s nothing like the old days when BET was educational, informative, truly entertaining and our favorite channel on Cablevision.

At the time BET was purchased from Bob Johnson, Viacom was owned by Rupert Murderer (Murdoch) who owns FOX so you know that there was no intent of maintaining anything of quality for Black people on BET, with that 3 billion dollar purchase, we the people lost our strongest most positive media exchange.  Now all we have are 24 hours of music videos featuring tight-pants, legging-wearing misogynistic males, half-naked, wide-hipped women and sex and drug addicted teenagers.  Amazing what the almighty and the all-dirty dollar can make people do.  The main things that are represented on BET are the worst things that are destroying the minds of our people, the spirit in and around our communities and the perceptions of us to others all around the world.

BET ain’t got me, has it got you?

CT

A morally awkward swim in my brain drain….

First, let me say that this format is surely not mine and I hope that DDMD will forgive my temporary swipe of her style.  But, that being said, I felt it necessary to blog about ‘Black People and Tuna Melts’.

On the way home, I pondered “what will I eat for dinner tonight?” I searched the crevices of old imbedded memories drawn from taste-bud to hippocampus, which by the way sounds like a college for large moist mammals, but still couldn’t decide on what I wanted until I drove by a Dunkin Donuts and saw their improper offering of mass produced individually prepared container imprisoned tuna fish.  So, I decided on tuna and what better way to serve mangled fish remains to myself than to have it between two pieces of toasted bread and Swiss cheese; A Tuna Melt.

Upon entering the store in my neighborhood, I was reminded as to why I liked to keep to myself and not interact with anyone, she, this female, was impolitely blocking the automatic doors with her body so I said, “Excuse me Sister” and the annoyance at either my unexpected politeness or that she may have thought I really was her brother, only to be disappointed at me being me, was etched all over her face.  It was as if I was the burden to her exiting through the entrance or maybe it was just me, over thinking it.

Moving along

Cruising up and down the aisles as I do on many occasions, the rows were filled with people that looked like me but didn’t act like me.  A loud-mouthed woman was running her mouth on her cell while her little boy caressed a box of Cocoa Puffs like little girls hold their baby dolls.  Another gaggle of women, with their exposed muffin-tops, argued back and forth about which shampoo would be better for their ummm, hair. (I think there was a sale on wig and weave shampoo, I’m just saying)

Then there was a heavily bearded fella, like myself, that made awkward eye contact with me as he pushed a boy and girl in a carriage past me. Thinking he was going to give the “going by head-nod” due to our common face-blankets, I nodded my head only to be ignored.

After the kind of day I had at work and these strange folks at the store I was ready to get out of there.  Looking for the canned seafood aisle, I turned the corner in hopes of getting what I needed so I could get out of there and there she was a young lady with a cart, texting on her cell phone, in front of the tuna, holding up my dinner.  I waited to see if she would notice me looking through her to get at the tuna fish but she stood there, texting away so I said, “Excuse me Sister”, she makes no eye contact, huffs and puffs and takes off with her carriage.

Black folks….I swear!

  Tuna Meltdown

Ingredients

  • 1 can Albacore Tuna
  • 2 tbsp Hellmans Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sweet relish
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Vine Ripened Tomato
  • 2 Slices of Finladia Swiss
  • 2 Slices of Multi-grain Bread

 How-to

  1. In a bowl, add tuna, mayo, relish, mustard, salt & pepper – Mix with a fork
  2. Cut up your tomato, toast the bread and cheese
  3. Spread tuna on bread, add tomato, toast again briefly, Enjoy!

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CT