Posts Tagged ‘racism’

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 Whether it was a story, an unpublished blog, or poetry, I write to become a better writer.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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Ugh.

It’s so hard to stay away from controversy when controversy refuses to stay away. Hey everyone, the dragon is back and I’m fired up. Let me make a disclaimer; I am not a fan of Dr. Boyce Watkins however, he wrote an interesting piece on the Donald Sterling situation and for once I agree with a lot of what he says well, at least 81% (to avoid full compliance with him).

Anyway, this controversy over in Clipper Land has really agitated me and I just can’t keep calm and keep my mouth shut, I have to write, Bloggers, blog. So, that being said, my engraved fume into this digital soil will focus on the NAACP and its coon leadership over in Los Angeles. How disturbingly fitting, a male by the name of Leon Jenkins, a name that couldn’t speak to the volumes of coon-ism any louder than Stepin Fetchit, is conducting the coon train into an embarrassing media minstrel show.

This so-called president of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP allegedly is calling for Donald Sterling’s forgiveness for a “fee”, while hiding behind God, religion and apparent greed.

“This week, the Los Angeles Times has reported that Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP, is willing to forgive Sterling for his latest set of racial sins, all for a modest fee. Using God, Christianity and the bible as cover, Jenkins goes back to the foundations of why black people were fed religious beliefs that teach us to bend in fear in the midst of battle, even if others have declared war on us.  “God teaches us to forgive, and the way I look at it, after a sustained period of proof to the African American community that those words don’t reflect his heart, I think there’s room for forgiveness. I wouldn’t be a Christian if I said there wasn’t,” Jenkins said. “We are negotiating with him about giving more moneys to African American students at UCLA, and so we are in preliminary discussions,” he also said. – Boyce Watkins

The NBA has shown its strength while the NAACP has shown its weakness.

The NBA has shown its strength while the NAACP has shown its weakness.

I fully agree with Boyce that, “The NAACP’s national office should step up and admonish the Los Angeles chapter for exhibiting behavior that is in direct contradiction to the sentiments and desires of millions of people who are offended by Sterling’s record of racist behavior.”

I call for his resignation.

This Jenkins character is indisputably a villain and an enemy of the people. We are not and should not support the NAACP nationally until they demand his resignation. Our community can’t continue to foot the bill when it comes to building up these organizations and empowering these puppets that claim to be for us but, only end up hurting us and making us look like a tribe of fools. Now the world knows that the NAACP will take money from racist whites looking to be forgiven for transgressions against Black people. It’s like going into a confession booth and silently sliding the pastor an envelope of cash and all sins are magically forgiven.

We pretend that because of the size of the NAACP that we can’t and shouldn’t hold them accountable for their actions and the way they practice business. We never come out and say this but, our actions speak louder than words. Everything they do is at our expense; the little people, the poor, the inopportune and the weak, how can any right-thinking person accept this without questioning the intents and purposes of the organization and sleep comfortably at night?

How many more Donald Sterling’s are we going to have to forgive? How many more degrading remarks about our people are we going to sweep under the rug? How much more can a people take; being torn down day after day, by law enforcement, millionaires, billionaires, white supremacists, racists, institutionalized racism and the media. When will the string that is holding us complacent out of fear of death, break and unleash upon the world the collective anger of Black people?

When are we going to stop following the lamb to the slaughterhouse?

The LA NAACP’s failure to act appropriately, is another notch in the whipping belt of white supremacy; proving that the almighty white dollar can buy black sentiment from institutions that are supposed to work for us, not against us. Working on behalf to end discrimination and hatred towards Black people well, colored people, whatever that means but, you get my point. African-Americans, Blacks, Coloreds, Negroes will never be taken seriously if we don’t get serious about how we take care of each other.

In my openly-personal opinion, this is clearly making the NAACP look like the laughing stock of the non-profit world. Yes, other organizations may take dirty money but, it’s not in the open and they don’t have the archetypal stereotype posturing around on television trying to justify the handout!

Leon Jenkins is a coon, a minstrel, a sell-out, selling-into the white supremacy machine and using our foolishness, our money and our misguided loyalty to grease the engine.

 

The end result of all of this is unbalanced, like Elephants and Ants on see-saws. The NBA has shown its strength while the NAACP has shown its weakness.  Showing lenience and compassion to Donald Sterling, while the NBA does the right thing and rids themselves of him for life.

KEEPCALMEND

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

A few years ago…

I was in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a business trip.  As we spent some free time around the town, I took it upon myself to walk into a Confederate Novelty store.  The store was laden with Confederate Flags and other memorabilia of the Deep South.  As I perused around, confident and fearless, it became clear as I delved deeper into the dark corners of the store, that the painted faces of the tiny soldiers, scowling in caricatured war grimaces, were staring at me as if I was Gulliver, traveling into a hate-filled forbidden land…Okay, so I let my imagination get to me sometimes…Anyway, I felt uneasy and wanted to go.

confederateflag11024x768

When I entered the store, I passed by a Black Woman; an older woman in her sixties or younger but, she was clearly my elder.  I passed her by as if she was just another curious person of color that challenged the system and ran head first into the store like a “Boss”, the same way that I did.  When I came from the rear of the store with my “Gettysburg” refrigerator magnets, I realized that the woman I had passed, was behind the register.  Now, this caught me by huge surprise as I certainly didn’t think a Black Woman would be the caretaker of a Confederacy Store but, lo and behold she was.

At first, I was a bit uneasy to ask why she worked there, but I built up the nerve to ask, “Do you feel comfortable around all these Confederate flags, knowing the history of them?” I asked.  She said, “Yes! This is my store and it’s my history too.  I was born and raised here; my Mother and Father were raised and died here.  This is just as much a part of my history as it is theirs.  I’m very comfortable with it.”

Being from the North, where the Racism is disguised as Liberalism and Gentrification jogs by your house at six every morning, I was surprised at the tolerance it must take to deal with the energy behind the symbolism and how it wasn’t enough to deter her from accepting her place as a part of it.

I realize that it’s a proud symbol of southern heritage;  while some see it as a painful reminder of slavery and segregation.  The “Southern Cross” is just an emblem, a token of ideas, materialized in the same Red, White & Blue that graces Old Glory.  People are so upset because the Ku Klux Klan and White Hate groups use the flag as their symbol of power and separatism, while others see it as a bold reminder of who they are and where they come from.

united-states-flagI was very grateful and honored to meet someone who was proud of who she was and proud of where she lived.  We can’t be honest with ourselves and say that the United States of America has been kind to African Americans and we can’t say that it would have been better under the Confederate States either.  What we can say is that we are the products of history: North vs. South, Freedom vs. Slavery and Black vs. White; we are here because we fought and died on both sides to have the choice to raise whatever flag we want to.

Kanye West, who claims Chicago as his home, was born in Atlanta GA in 1977 so, I’m sure that he’s seen his share of Confederate Flags. It was not until 2001, that the State Flag of Georgia, which contained the Southern Cross, was changed to suit businesses, white liberals and the NAACP.  I haven’t done much research or really paid any attention to Kanye and his reasons for embracing the Confederate Flag, but I understand and I do think it’s his right to wear it, rock it, sport it or flaunt it anyway that he sees fit.  It’s a part of his heritage; it’s a part of all of our heritage in this country whether we like it or not.  So, no matter where you stand, if it’s with the Union or the Confederacy and no matter what flag you’re waving, both of them are drenched in our blood.

Take your pick!

– CT

Image

Oh my God, this perpetuates negative stereotypes of black males; I can’t believe Mountain Dew did this!

Oh, wait a minute. Stereotypes are perceived ideas of a people by others that are usually made up or pointed out for humorous reasons and are not necessarily true.  But, in this case and I guess in my opinion, these characters are not portraying imaginary stereotypes. This is the way ‘some’ black people talk, dress and behave so; it’s not racist. It’s mockery of the Failure Lifestyle that blacks and black criminals choose to live by. 

We say it in our music; THEY hear it in our music.  We glamorize that life and mourn when we die by it.  I’m not taking this commercial seriously at all.  I’m not offended by it; I’m not amused by it either.

CT