Friday, July 31, 2009
Sargent Crowley - Give it to this guy, he really, really, really worked the angles on this one. He was never asked to justify the discrepancies between the 911 call and his police report. Nor was he made to apologize by his employer. He never admitted any wrongdoing of any sort. Then he gets to give this very reasonable, very polished presser, which looks like an audition for an upcoming Fox News pundit gig. It was a great day for the Crowley household.
He will probably get some martyr-style promotion out of this. He will definitely get a book deal. He will absolutely become an icon for the anti-Obama crowd. And he still never apologized, just as he said he wouldn't. Is that a freakin' come-up or what?
Lucia Whalen - I hate that Gates' neighbor had to give that tearful press conference, but you just know she's already got that appearance on Oprah booked, right?
Desire Rodgers - The WH Social Secretary really nailed the imagery on this one. For some reason, at the last moment, Joe Biden was asked to attend. My Negro Radar says this was to balance things out so that the image of two brothers hunkering over a white guy wasn't what folks saw when they turned on the TV. How else do you account for Gates and Biden sitting on one side of the table and the other guys on the other, nicely balanced, all in a completely non-threatening manner?
Professor Gates - Gates went from little known black scholar with well-regarded, but little known PBS documentaries, to a man of international name recognition overnight. Sure, some folks will see him as a race-baiter, but those folks probably would have thought that anyway. Even though money is probably far from his greatest motivation, I'm pretty sure he'll end up with a bigger stage to tell his next story.
Obama - Yeah, he handled it well in the end, but his numbers took a hit, and you know opponents will try and paint him as "anti-police" in the future. Never mind the fact that Obama's "stupidly" comment was correct, Gates should never have been arrested. And that his inferences about "racial profiling" were in regards to the question posed, not directly related to Gates' situation. It's just another example of how this White House lets the media narrative get out of control, rather than "controlling the message", which is something his predecessor was actually quite good at.
Black Folks - Let's face it my peoples, we took an "L" on this one. The next time there's a legitimate story that involves racial profiling, the words "well what about Professor Gates?" are definitely trailing. I'm not saying this is an epic fail of Tawanna Brawley type proportions, but it damn sure ain't help.
Officer Leon Lashley - When Crowley's fellow black officer (seen outside the Gates 北京体彩网官方网站 as he was hauled off in cuffs) went on CNN to go to bat for his boy, I lauded him as a stand up guy. So please explain to me why Lashley got all emo and ended up sending a letter to the White House along with Crowley, assailing those who called him an Uncle Tom?
Seriously, if you are going to take a bold public stand, you just can't be this mad when others disagree with you. Do you know how many times MLK was called an Uncle Tom and how many black churches effectively blackballed him for this beliefs? You did what you felt was right, people complain, then you write a letter crying about people complaining. That's sort of a b*tch move, man. Now I'm beginning to wonder if you were forced to do this. Get over yourself, brother. This is so not about you.
Joe Biden - I totally, totally, totally understand not drinking for moral/ethical reasons. Biden contends that he's never drank a beer in his life, and yesterday was no reason to start. Agree with that too. But come the hell on, man, why was this bama drinkin' an O'Douhl's? What sorta d-bag drinks non-alcoholic beer anyway? Isn't that sorta like drinking decaffeinated coffee? Uhhh, doesn't that sorta undermine the point of the whole thing? Why not just go ahead and poke hokes in your own condoms while you're at it. Beer without alcohol = L.O.S.E.R.
Race Relations In America - Do you feel any more post-racial? I sure don't.
Question: What do you think? Who won? Who lost? Who cares?
. Last night, AverageSis and I got a rare weekday night out, and had the pleasure of attending the DC premiere of Lamar & Ronnie (TheMom) Tyler's documentary, Happily Ever After - A Positive Image Of Black Marriage.
You guys know that I typically go hard on these movie reviews. The reasons are many. It's a recession and nobody should flush $40 down the drain if the movie isn't worth it. I also run into problems when I'm reviewing the work of people I personally know and like. Do you keep it real and potentially ruin a friendship, or do you say nice things and sorta kinda lie to your readers? If it sounds like I'm taking all this a bit too damn seriously (because let's face it, this ain't my Day Job) then you're prolly right.
Thankfully, this film presented no such dilemma. I can with clear conscience give Happily Ever After a very good review because it's a very good movie.
Shot documentary-style, sans narration, the movie is really much more of a celebration of black marriage than an in-depth analysis of why the institution as a whole is in such a lousy state in our communities right now.
Familiar faces like radio personality Joe Madison, filmmaker Janks Morton, author (and friend of AB.com) Denene Milner, and actor Tray Chaney (HBO's The Wire), along with average, everyday married couples from all walks of life tell their stories. For once, all the good things about marriage (financial benefits, living longer, balanced approaches to rearing children) are discussed, rather than wallowing in the muck of why "black women are too independent" and "all the good black men are in jail or on the DL". That's a tired, tired, tired shopworn narrative that seems to plague most examinations of Black marriage (Soledad, I'm lookin' at you). Instead, by presenting real couples (along with the occasional "expert) who talk transparently about the challenges, but also the triumphs of living with a "better half", the movie is inspiring on many levels.
Perhaps most interesting is how the movie challenged one of my personal stances. I've long maintained that The Obama Effect on black marriage is going to be negligible at best, and that black folks won't just be magically pairing up all of a sudden because there's somebody who looks like us in the White House. But as the movie suggests, The Huxtable Effect had a huge influence on changing the perception of what marriage means for millions of black people, and The Cosby Show was pure fiction. Even I'll admit, coming from a loving two parent household, even I observed some of what Claire and Cliff had and carry that sensibility into my own marriage. Who's to say that Barry and Michelle can't do the same for another generation? Not me. Not anymore at least.
Well paced and well structured at just over an hour, Happily will definitely leave you with a feeling that things are getting better for the overall state of black marriage, whether that's reflected in the crude numbers or not. Strangely, for a guy who runs a website called , and is featured on the movie's poster, Tyler doesn't cave in to P. Diddy-Syndrome and appears nowhere in the movie. I can't say this is a good or bad thing, it's merely different. I'm sure he'll stop by to chime in on this probing question.
Final Verdict: As the erstwhile cultural expert Denene Milner asserts in this movie, black folks need to quit jibber jabbering about there not being enough "positive" depictions of us and start supporing each other when we do put out this sort of film. Naturally, I concur, and I applaud Lamar & Ronnie Tyler for putting their money where their
website mouths are, instead of waiting for someone else to celebrate the good aspects of black culture rather than always focusing on the negative. Nuff' said. ! 4 Stars (Out Of 5)
Tags Popped: AB Goes To The Movies
AB.com started 2 1/2 years ago as a way for me to vent a little, and over time, it's opened doors for me that wouldn't have otherwise been accessible. 1,500+ posts later (check the stats), AB.com has sorta morphed into a fullblown community of diverse voices, opinions, and walks of life. Thousands visit this site every week for some odd reason or another, which I suppose deems this April Fool's joke (the date of my first post) a success. That said, I always try and strive to make every post discussion worthy. There's enough fluff elsewhere on the web. But this gets draining, and sometimes takes the simple fun out of what I do. No more. Since it seems like ya'll will ride with me no matter what, I have some stylistic announcements to make.
I Will Not Apologize For Being A Rap Nerd - Except for my weekly What's On AB's iPod? features, I don't talk music too much here. I'm a geeky dude who prolly downloads 20+ new mixtapes, podcasts, and free promo stuff a week. I don't spend much time here discussing my love of music cause I assume there aren't too many like minded heads here. Doesn't matter. If you like these posts, chime in. If not, skip.
I Will Not Apologize For Being A Basketball Junkie - Likewise, I preface every sports related post with a bunch of disclaimers, hoping I don't alienate those who don't care about the potency of the Cleveland Cavaliers second unit. Again, if that's for you, chime in. If not...
I Will Not Apologize For Being A Liberal - I'm an unaffiliated voter who really, really, really wants to have two options when it comes to voting for statewide and national politricians. But damnit GOP, ya'll just make it too hard to justify even considering you with all the nonsense you do every week. Announcing that I'm a liberal at heart doesn't mean I drink Kool-Aid or walk in lockstep with the Dems (I don't), or that I don't vote across party lines locally (always have, always will). But why keep fooling myself into thinking I might be ideologically compatible on some level with a-holes like Jeff Sessions? I'm not, and prolly never will be. If you wanna brand me as a librul, go right ahead. Fine.
I Will Not Apologize For Liking Gossip - I usually try and avoid celebrity-related posts here, unless there's a greater context for discussion (ie: child support). But damnit, I like Necole Bitchie and hate Sandra Rose just as much as the next
I Will Not Apologize For Being Mean - Sometimes as a blogger, you're concerned about hurting people's feelings. You never know who is reading, and whom you might effect. But let's face it, anyone who knows me personally (tell em' CJames!) knows I'm a sarcastic, snarky, "downright mean" individual. That's my personality. Sometimes I hold it back in the name of being politically correct, or out of concern for offending folks. Not any more.
I Will Not Apologize For Deleting Comments - There's a new sheriff in town, and his name ain't Reggie Hammonds. Act up and get scratched up.
Question: Do you think you're going to like the new and non-apologetic AB.com? Got anything you're tired of apologizing for?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I love the whole "I'm not racist, I've got black friends!" non-apology. So Gates isn't actually a "jungle monkey", he just acts like one? Alrighty then.
We're gonna all need a beer by the time this thing's over.
Question: Should Barrett keep his job?
Yeah, I know NFL camps are starting this week, and it's darn near sacrilege to be talking about any other sport, but what can I say? I'm not a football fan. Sure, I get my fantasy squad on, but that's more about talkin' smack with friends. Simply put, all the NFL is is a 2 month distraction before NBA training camp opens.
It seems like the Lakers just got their rings last week, but reality is, there hasn't been an NBA offseason with this much player movement in ages. And one trend that seems to be evolving is that the rich (much like in real life) are only getting richer. Welcome北京体彩网官方网站 to the age of the SuperTeam. Here are your contestants.
Boston - The Celtics prolly would have made it back to the Finals had Kevin Garnett not gotten injured. So, to fortify the team's shaky frontline, they add Rasheed Wallace. Sheed gives them a stacked frontcourt, with Big Baby Davis, and Kendrick Perkins. It seems likely that the team will retain Stephon Marbury, and they're about to trade for Marquis Daniels, a guy who can play both guard positions. AB's Odds of Winning It All - 5 to 1.
Cleveland - The Cavs had the league's best record last year, but their date with destiny (and the ratings bonanza of Bron vs Kobe) was derailed when they were outplayed by a better Orlando team in the conference Finals. So, they remedy this by adding Shaquille O'Neal, with the express purpose of getting Lebron and Co. beyond the Magic. Uhhh, apparently they forgot about those Celtics. Additional pickups like Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon will help, but I just don't see a storybook ending here. On the bright side, no way Bron goes to NY. No way. I wouldn't be shocked to see him sign an extension before the season tips off. Odds - 10 to 1.
Orlando - Tasting the Finals (albeit briefly) was motivation enough for the Magic to go all out and add to their shaky depth in hopes of getting another shot at the title. They traded for Vince Carter, signed free agents Brandon Bass and Matt Barnes to reasonable contracts, and made a fatal error by matching a horrendous offer sheet for knock-kneed big man Marcin Gortat, a guy who makes John Koncak look like Wilt Chamberlain. Oh, and they also let their best crunch time player, Hedo Turkoglu, walk to the Raptors. Bad move. Odds - 11 to 1.
Lakers - Picking up Ron Artest is one of those unnecessary risks that can either ruin a team's season or push them over the edge. Essentially trading him for Trevor Ariza is a step up. However, if the team lets Lamar Odom bolt to the Heat over a lousy $2M pissing match, cancel all bets. Since this is still up in the air, I can't give them a grade. Odds - Incomplete.
Portland - A brief playoff run showed them that they needed a point guard to be the glue guy for their ultra talented squad. Picking up veteran Andre Miller fills a bunch of holes and gives Nate McMillan a quarterback who can get them to the 2nd round. Unfortunately, all their young players are going to need to be paid very soon, which means somebody is getting traded. And that Greg Oden over Kevin Durant picks looks worse and worse in retrospect. Imagine how much further along they'd be if they'd gotten that one right. Odds - 25 to 1.
Mavericks - After surprising a geriatric Spurs team last Spring, Mark Cuban and Co. made some aggressive moves to get back to the Finals. Picking up Shawn Marion, Tim Thomas, and Drew Gooden to join the forward tandem of Dirk Diggler and Josh Howard probably means a lot more small ball is coming. They did nothing to address their guard situation other than resigning Jason Kidd, a guy who still couldn't score if he had a pocketful of roofies. Do they even have a guard that's taller than 6-4 on the roster? That's not gonna cut it. Odds - 15 to 1.
Spurs - With Tim Duncan's window rapidly closing, the Spurs made some daring moves to improve their overall talent base. Getting a scorer like Richard Jefferson for a bag of chips and a soda was a steal. Adding Antonio McDyess, Theo Ratliff, and rookie Dejuan Blair to the frontcourt takes some of the pressure off TD. I still think they need some help at guard, where Manu Ginobili is not getting younger, and Tony Parker often looks like he'd rather be on Wisteria Lane than the AT&T Center. Can you say Iverson? Odds - 7 to 1.
Others Considered - Washington (smart trades and health will determine outcome), Atlanta (stacked with guards), Toronto (not deep, but Turkoglu helps), New Orleans (Okafor trade fortifies the front line), Clippers (look awesome on paper).
Question: Which NBA SuperTeam has the best shot at winning the title?
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
. And you wonder why some Conservatives can't be taken seriously.
Tags Popped: Poll Position
Question: Do you agree with Colin Powell's overall assessment?
Question: Does somebody owe Lucia Whalen an apology?
Tags Popped: That Sh*t Is Racist
[Editor's Note: NBC Universal sure knows how to ruin a fine joke. Litigious bastards! Watch this one while you still can.]
Question: Does this nonsensical rambling prove that William Shatner has finally lost it? Does this man need his head checked out? What sorta incoherent babbling is this? Does he really think this is poetic? Could a bunch of monkeys jumping up and down on a keyboard produce something more intelligible? Could I? You betcha'!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Here's what's hilarious to me: imagine the outcry if the Dems actually had elected officials on The Hill drafting legislation to examine whether or not "Bush knocked down the Towers".
I don't personally think that these Congressmen believe the President isn't a US citizen. I think they're all guilty of pandering to the faaaar right in their party, and scared that they'd lose votes if they called this what it is. I can't figure out which of these is worse.
Uh, BTW, Obama is half-white himself. Raging racist that he is, I could only imagine his family reunions are a chippy affair. Full version.
Uh, and didn't Beck more or less admit that Obama was "very White" himself?
Glenn Beck, please, go somewhere and play in traffic.
Monday, July 27, 2009
, and his wife Ronnie on this effort.
The movie premiere is Thursday for those of you in the DC Urreah. Tickets are still available, but going fast. Depending on how everything pans out, AverageSis and I might make it down there, so be on the lookout. Not that you know how we look. Anyways, the details...
Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage - DC PremiereFor more information, visit . You can preorder the movie at . Join .
Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 8:00 PM (ET)
The Avalon Theatre
5612 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015
Tags Popped: AB Goes To The Movies
Then again, just like those old ABC After School Specials, this whole uncomfortable episode will conclude shortly with
cake and ice cream a couple of Heinekens, some hand holding, and a singing of Kumbaya. Crowley will become a walking martyr, although he really seems like a d*ck, and needs some more training in basic communication. Gates will go back to academia with his hard-earned reputation sullied, through the doing of none other than himself. Obama will still be scratching his head, watching his approval numbers tank, wondering why he stupidly chose the word "stupidly", when all he needed to do was tell that reporter "no comment, this is a f*ckin' healthcare forum you idiot!".
And somewhere in West Memphis, a black man in a black car will be pulled over for reasons beyond his comprehension. I pray for his wife and kids that he gets 北京体彩网官方网站 safely.
Thanks a lot, Skip.
Question: Did Skip Gates possibly set back the issue of racial profiling by lumping his trivial case in with the legitimate racial bias that effects people of color everyday in America? What beer should Obama, Gates, and Crowley drink? How happy will you be when this story is dead?
 Props to the first person to tell me where this post's title was cribbed from.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
This viral video of a wedding in Minnesota is blowin' up. The couple is all over NBC, CNN, and various talk shows, but I gotta ask ya'll what's up.
Question: Ashy or Classy? Is this wedding procession fun, or just jive tacky?
this past weekend, where we discussed CNN's recent edition of Black In America 2, Gates-gate, and race in America. You can download the podcast, or . The audio is a little choppy (echo...), but you can prolly make out most of what I'm saying.
Tags Popped: Mass Appeal
Well, I guess I finally know what "Yaki" actually means.
Question: Is this commercial racial, merely stereotypical, or just not all that funny?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
, then the fact that courts are generally stacked in the favor of mothers when it comes to paternity cases, it's no wonder that there's a fatherhood crisis throughout the socioeconomic spectrum.
And that's why I really, really, really feel bad for Nas right about now.
Hip-Hop star Nas is currently celebrating the birth of his son, although sources close to the rapper told AllHipHop.com that he was not allowed to witness the event.Seriously, how is this possible and why is it permissible? Yes, I am well aware that if the Mom has a restraining order, the Dad can't come within a certain distance of her. But what the hell does a restraining order have to do with a child being delivered? I suppose the letter of the law would dictate that there are no exceptions to that rule (unless you're Chris Brown, and you sorta have to go to awards shows for a living), but c'mon. What harm would/could a man do to a woman delivering his child? I don't recall any note of Nas having been violent with his soon to be ex-wife. So again, why they wanna keep a man from his baby? The sh*t just ain't right, I tell ya'. It aint.
Nas' lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan stated that Nas rushed to the hospital to witness Kelis deliver his first son today (July 21). A source close to Nas told AllHipHop.com that the Queen's rapper missed the actual child birth.
“Nas is in New York City today, anxiously awaiting the arrival of his son. It was his intention to be there for the birth, but unfortunately he has not been allowed to be present,” a source close to the rapper told AllHipHop.com. “While this is clearly heartbreaking to him, Nas continues to offer his support and love to his new baby boy and his mother.”
Nas and Kelis were due in court today in regards to their pending divorce, specifically child and spousal support.
The date had to be postponed when Kelis, born Kelis Rogers , went into labor, around 10:30 this morning. Nas and Kelis were married in January of 2005 after being engaged for two years. Kelis filed for divorce in April of 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. No further details were available as to why Nas may have been prevented from witnessing the birth of his son.
Nas, born Nasir Jones, also has a 12-year-old daughter with ex-fiancée Carmen Bryan.
But Nas was apparently not too broken up about the whole thing, so hey, no harm, no foul.
I'm not sure he'll be so jolly when he begins paying the astounding $55,000/month (!) in spousal and child support that the courts just ordered today.
Anyways, since the main victim in this whole thing seems to have undermined the premise for my post, I figure I'll ask ya'll the following.
Question: Is it fair to prevent a man from witnessing the birth of his child? Was there some violent confrontation between Nas and his ex that I'm overlooking? What sorta woman prevents a man from seeing his son birthed? Why isn't mandatory paternity leave something that the gubb'ment is discussing?
 Cyber CapriSuns™ to the first person to tell me what song this post's title was cribbed from.
[Update: Since nobody answered the footnote question, here's the song of note.]
Thursday, July 23, 2009
is pinch hitting again.]
She's been called a "genius" who's fought for the poor and sick and is known for her work to bring awareness about health issues to minority and poor communities. She's also has a physique more akin to Oprah Winfrey than Michelle Obama. So naturally ... someone was going to say it. Is Dr. Regina M. Benjamin too much of a woman (re: fat!) to fight America's obesity epidemic?
Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, Obama's pick for the next surgeon general, was hailed as a McArthur Grant genius who had championed the poor at a medical clinic she set up in Katrina-ravaged Alabama.I almost gave this an "O RLY" owl because what does her waistline have to do with her ability to do her job? This isn't a beauty contest.
But the full-figured African-American nominee is also under fire for being overweight in a nation where 34 percent of all Americans aged 20 and over are obese.
Critics and supporters across the blogsphere have commented on photos of Benjamin's round cheeks, saying she sends the wrong message as the public face of America's health initiatives.
But others support the 52-year-old founder and CEO of Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, citing new research that shows you cannot always judge a book by its cover when it comes to obesity.
Even the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance -- whose slogan is "we come in all sizes" -- has jumped to her defense.
"The job of surgeon general is to make health care and policy decisions for the country北京体彩网官方网站 -- not to look hot in a pair of skinny jeans," said one blogger on Frisky.com. "Perhaps her size could actually be an advantage -- she's in a better position to understand obesity and contemplate out-of-the-box ways to roll back ever-expanding American waistlines."
[Editor's Note: My primary physician is also overweight, but I don't take what he says any less seriously as a result.]
But then, hey, maybe someone can argue why this is an issue and convince me otherwise. Anyone agree with the critics?
Question: Does a surgeon general need to be in tip top shape to get the job done, or do her policy decisions matter more than her appearance? Is Benjamin being picked on because she's black?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
. What the heck is wrong with these folks?
Question: Why does anyone take "birthers" seriously?
for a live blog/chat, beginning at 9pm. .
Tags Popped: Bloggy Style
, has a large native black population, a large immigrant population, , and has had . Anyone who's spent any amount of time knows it's just one river, but several worlds separated from Boston, which is legitimately one of the most offputting and hostile places I've ever personally visited. My brother, who did his postdoctoral studies at there, told me Cambridge (not to be confused with the campus of Harvard, which is yet another world of its own) is one of the most welcoming places he's ever lived. On the same note, he can count on one hand the number of times he ventured into Boston while living there.
Gates Isn't THAT Famous. - There's also a general feeling out there that the neighbor, as well as the policeman, should have known who Gates was, a sentiment echoed by Gates himself. This has to be the most ridiculous comment evar. How well do you actually know all the folks on your block? Do you guys realize that Harvard is literally ? Every professor at Harvard is likely world renowned in his/her field. Saying Gates should be recognizable and well known to the general populace in Cambridge is like saying a casual basketball fan should easily be able to point out Michael Redd while watching the NBA All-Star game. Michael Redd is a nice player, but he's hardly the only star in his field. To the neighbor, Gates was probably just some guy she's passed once or twice on the quad. To the cop, Gates was little more than a suspect. Sorry, but this just how it is.
What We Can All Learn From This. - Reality is, in 2009, yes, police brutality still exists. Black men get their heads busted (or worse) erryday. But this case clearly isn't police brutality, and had Gates just exercised a bit more constraint, this whole thing might have been totally avoided. Just a note to anyone pulled over, or otherwise confronted by cops: if you ain't do nothin' wrong, you have nothing to worry about. Shut up, comply, get the badge number, and handle it the reasonable way. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
The Bottom Line - Everyone here overreacted. The neighbor should have asked questions rather than made assumptions. The policeman should have perhaps been more sensitive to the situation and let cooler heads prevail. And Gates definitely shouldn't have pulled . The obvious problem here is that only one of these overreactors could have lost his/her life as a result of this situation. I'll let you all guess who that might have been.
Question: Am I waaaay outta bounds with this, or did Gates perhaps overplay the situation?